Noble Midstream Partners (NYSE: NBLX) and Buckeye Partners L.P. (NYSE:BPL) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, profitability and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Noble Midstream Partners and Buckeye Partners L.P.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Noble Midstream Partners 50.57% 31.64% 24.40%
Buckeye Partners L.P. 14.42% 11.04% 5.29%

Dividends

Noble Midstream Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.78 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Buckeye Partners L.P. pays an annual dividend of $5.05 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.5%. Noble Midstream Partners pays out 67.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Buckeye Partners L.P. pays out 138.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Buckeye Partners L.P. has increased its dividend for 14 consecutive years. Buckeye Partners L.P. is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Noble Midstream Partners and Buckeye Partners L.P.’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Noble Midstream Partners $203.73 million 9.08 $150.22 million $2.65 19.43
Buckeye Partners L.P. $3.47 billion 2.41 $979.66 million $3.65 16.19

Buckeye Partners L.P. has higher revenue and earnings than Noble Midstream Partners. Buckeye Partners L.P. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Noble Midstream Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

83.9% of Noble Midstream Partners shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 68.8% of Buckeye Partners L.P. shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of Buckeye Partners L.P. shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Noble Midstream Partners and Buckeye Partners L.P., as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Noble Midstream Partners 0 2 10 0 2.83
Buckeye Partners L.P. 0 8 1 0 2.11

Noble Midstream Partners currently has a consensus target price of $43.70, indicating a potential downside of 15.11%. Buckeye Partners L.P. has a consensus target price of $70.78, indicating a potential upside of 19.76%. Given Buckeye Partners L.P.’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Buckeye Partners L.P. is more favorable than Noble Midstream Partners.

Summary

Noble Midstream Partners beats Buckeye Partners L.P. on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Noble Midstream Partners Company Profile

Noble Midstream Partners LP is engaged in owning, operating, developing and acquiring a range of domestic midstream infrastructure assets. The Company’s areas of focus are in the area of Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin in Colorado and the Southern Delaware Basin position of the Permian Basin in Texas (Delaware Basin). Its segments include Gathering Systems, Fresh Water Delivery, and Investments in White Cliffs and Other. The Gathering Systems segment includes crude oil, natural gas and produced water gathering, as well as crude oil treating. It holds interest in White Cliffs Pipeline L.L.C. (the White Cliffs Interest). The Investments in White Cliffs and Other segment includes activity associated with the White Cliffs Interest. As of December 31, 2016, the White Cliffs Pipeline system consisted of two 527-mile crude oil pipelines that extended from the DJ Basin to the Cushing, Oklahoma. It provides crude oil, natural gas, and water-related midstream services for Noble Energy, Inc.

Buckeye Partners L.P. Company Profile

Buckeye Partners, L.P. (Buckeye) owns and operates a network of integrated assets providing midstream logistic solutions, primarily consisting of the transportation, storage, processing and marketing of liquid petroleum products. Its segments include Domestic Pipelines & Terminals, Global Marine Terminals and Merchant Services. As of December 31, 2016, the Domestic Pipelines & Terminals segment owned and operated approximately 6,000 miles of pipeline located primarily in the northeastern and upper Midwestern portions of the United States, and serviced approximately 110 delivery locations. The Global Marine Terminals segment provides marine accessible bulk storage and blending services, rail and truck rack loading/unloading, along with petroleum processing services in the East Coast and Gulf Coast regions of the United States and in the Caribbean. The Merchant Services segment is a wholesale distributor of petroleum products in the continental United States and in the Caribbean.

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