Southern Company Gas (NYSE: GAS) and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE:CPK) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, risk, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Southern Company Gas and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southern Company Gas 0 0 0 0 N/A
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation 0 4 0 0 2.00

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has a consensus target price of $69.00, indicating a potential downside of 13.80%. Given Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is more favorable than Southern Company Gas.

Dividends

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Southern Company Gas does not pay a dividend. Chesapeake Utilities Corporation pays out 50.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Southern Company Gas has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has raised its dividend for 13 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Southern Company Gas and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southern Company Gas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation $560.47 million 2.33 $122.80 million $2.56 31.27

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Southern Company Gas.

Volatility & Risk

Southern Company Gas has a beta of -0.08, meaning that its share price is 108% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has a beta of 0.27, meaning that its share price is 73% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Southern Company Gas and Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southern Company Gas 6.84% 2.13% 0.90%
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation 7.40% 9.18% 3.41%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

61.3% of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 5.4% of Chesapeake Utilities 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.

Summary

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation beats Southern Company Gas on 10 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Southern Company Gas Company Profile

Southern Company Gas, formerly AGL Resources Inc, is a natural gas-only distribution company. The Company operates in four operating segments: distribution operations, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. The Company’s distribution operations segment is engaged in providing natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers. The retail operations segment is involved in the provision of natural gas commodity and related services. The wholesale services segment is engaged in natural gas storage, gas pipeline arbitrage and provides natural gas asset management and related logistics services for its utilities, as well as for non-affiliated companies. Midstream operations segment consists primarily of natural gas storage facilities and select pipelines, enabling the provision of diverse sources of natural gas supplies to its customers.

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation Company Profile

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (Chesapeake) is an energy company. The Company operates through two segments: Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Company provides natural gas distribution and transmission; natural gas supply, gathering, processing and marketing; electric distribution and generation; propane distribution; propane and crude oil wholesale marketing; steam generation, and other energy-related services. The Regulated Energy segment includes the Company’s natural gas distribution, natural gas transmission and electric distribution operations. The Unregulated Energy segment includes its propane distribution, propane and crude oil wholesale marketing, natural gas marketing and unregulated natural gas supply, gathering and processing, electricity and steam generation and other unregulated energy-related services to customers.

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