Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) and Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE:LNT) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, valuation and profitability.

Dividends

Exelon Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.31 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. Alliant Energy Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.26 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Exelon Corporation pays out 68.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Alliant Energy Corporation pays out 74.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Alliant Energy Corporation has increased its dividend for 11 consecutive years. Exelon Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Volatility and Risk

Exelon Corporation has a beta of 0.29, indicating that its stock price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Alliant Energy Corporation has a beta of 0.42, indicating that its stock price is 58% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Exelon Corporation and Alliant Energy Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Exelon Corporation $33.26 billion 1.11 $9.49 billion $1.91 20.05
Alliant Energy Corporation $3.34 billion 2.93 $1.07 billion $1.70 24.91

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

76.8% of Exelon Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.5% of Alliant Energy Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.7% of Exelon Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of Alliant Energy Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Exelon Corporation and Alliant Energy Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Exelon Corporation 5.41% 8.47% 2.06%
Alliant Energy Corporation 11.85% 11.43% 3.34%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Exelon Corporation and Alliant Energy Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Exelon Corporation 0 4 8 0 2.67
Alliant Energy Corporation 0 4 0 0 2.00

Exelon Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $40.45, indicating a potential upside of 5.61%. Alliant Energy Corporation has a consensus price target of $41.00, indicating a potential downside of 3.16%. Given Exelon Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Exelon Corporation is more favorable than Alliant Energy Corporation.

Summary

Exelon Corporation beats Alliant Energy Corporation on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Exelon Corporation

Exelon Corporation is a utility services holding company. The Company, through its subsidiary, Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Generation), is engaged in the energy generation business. The Company, through its subsidiaries, Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd), PECO Energy Company (PECO), Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE), Pepco Holdings LLC (PHI), Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), Delmarva Power & Light Company (DPL) and Atlantic City Electric Company (ACE), is engaged in the energy delivery businesses. It operates through 12 segments: Generation’s six segments: Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, New York, ERCOT and Other Power Regions; ComEd; PECO; BGE, and PHI’s three utility segments: Pepco, DPL and ACE. Generation’s integrated business consists of the generation, physical delivery and marketing of power across geographical regions through its customer-facing business, Constellation, which sells electricity and natural gas to both wholesale and retail customers.

About Alliant Energy Corporation

Alliant Energy Corporation operates as a regulated investor-owned public utility holding company. The Company’s segments include Utility and Non-regulated, Parent and Other. The Utility segment includes the operations of Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), which serve retail customers in Iowa and Wisconsin. The Utility segment includes utility electric operations, utility gas operations and utility other, which includes steam operations and the unallocated portions of the utility business. Its Non-regulated, Parent and Other segment includes the operations of Alliant Energy Resources, LLC and its subsidiaries; Alliant Energy Corporate Services, Inc. (Corporate Services); the Alliant Energy parent company, and any Alliant Energy parent company consolidating adjustments. IPL and WPL own a portfolio of electric generating units located in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with a fuel mix, including coal, natural gas and renewable resources.

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