Avangrid (NYSE: AGR) and Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.

Dividends

Avangrid pays an annual dividend of $1.73 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. Avista Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.43 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Avangrid pays out 79.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Avista Corporation pays out 67.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Avangrid has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years. Avangrid is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Avangrid and Avista Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Avangrid $6.00 billion 2.47 $1.94 billion $2.18 21.99
Avista Corporation $1.46 billion 2.30 $471.76 million $2.11 24.72

Avangrid has higher revenue and earnings than Avista Corporation. Avangrid is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Avista Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

13.2% of Avangrid shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.7% of Avista Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.3% of Avangrid shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Avista Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Avangrid has a beta of 0.48, indicating that its stock price is 52% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Avista Corporation has a beta of 0.45, indicating that its stock price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Avangrid and Avista Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Avangrid 11.25% 4.52% 2.20%
Avista Corporation 9.35% 8.19% 2.57%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Avangrid and Avista Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Avangrid 0 0 4 0 3.00
Avista Corporation 1 3 0 0 1.75

Avangrid currently has a consensus target price of $46.17, indicating a potential downside of 3.70%. Avista Corporation has a consensus target price of $44.00, indicating a potential downside of 15.64%. Given Avangrid’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Avangrid is more favorable than Avista Corporation.

Summary

Avangrid beats Avista Corporation on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Avangrid

Avangrid, Inc. is an energy and utility company. The Company operates through three segments: Networks, Renewables and Gas. The Networks segment includes all the energy transmission and distribution activities, and any other regulated activity originating in New York and Maine, and regulated electric distribution, electric transmission and gas distribution activities originating in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Renewables segment owns, develops, constructs and/or operates electricity generation, including renewable and thermal generators, and associated transmission facilities. The Renewables segment includes activities relating to renewable energy, mainly wind energy generation and trading related with such activities. The Gas segment operates a natural gas storage and natural gas trading business through its subsidiaries, Enstor, Inc. and Enstor Energy Services, LLC.

About Avista Corporation

Avista Corporation is an electric and natural gas utility company. The Company operates through two segments: Avista Utilities, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P). The Company’s regional services include government and higher education, medical services, retail trade and finance. The Company’s businesses also include sheet metal fabrication, venture fund investments, real estate investments, a company that explores markets that could be served with liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as certain other investments of Avista Capital, which is a subsidiary of the Company. Avista Utilities is an operating division of the Company, which consists of its regulated utility operations in the Pacific Northwest. Avista Utilities division generates, transmits and distributes electricity, and distributes natural gas. As of December 31, 2016, AEL&P operated five hydroelectric generation facilities with 102.7 megawatts (MW) of hydroelectric generation capacity.

Receive News & Ratings for Avangrid Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Avangrid Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.