Harvest Natural Resources (NYSE: HNR) and Petroquest Energy (NYSE:PQ) are both energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends and risk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

53.9% of Harvest Natural Resources shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 37.5% of Petroquest Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 27.2% of Harvest Natural Resources shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 9.4% of Petroquest Energy shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Harvest Natural Resources has a beta of 0.29, meaning that its stock price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Petroquest Energy has a beta of 2.03, meaning that its stock price is 103% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Harvest Natural Resources and Petroquest Energy’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Harvest Natural Resources N/A N/A N/A ($8.31) -0.80
Petroquest Energy $77.60 million 0.51 $30.48 million ($2.16) -0.87

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Harvest Natural Resources and Petroquest Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Harvest Natural Resources 0 0 0 0 N/A
Petroquest Energy 0 2 1 0 2.33

Petroquest Energy has a consensus target price of $3.50, indicating a potential upside of 86.17%. Given Petroquest Energy’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Petroquest Energy is more favorable than Harvest Natural Resources.

Profitability

This table compares Harvest Natural Resources and Petroquest Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Harvest Natural Resources N/A -25.98% -17.70%
Petroquest Energy -46.00% N/A -17.77%

Summary

Petroquest Energy beats Harvest Natural Resources on 6 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Harvest Natural Resources

Harvest Natural Resources, Inc. (Harvest) is in the process of dissolution and winding up. The Company was previously a petroleum exploration and production company. The Company was engaged in acquiring exploration, development and producing properties in geological basins active hydrocarbon systems.

About Petroquest Energy

PetroQuest Energy, Inc. is an oil and gas company. The Company is engaged in exploratory, development and acquisition activities. The Company has approximately 30 gross exploratory wells and over 30 gross development wells. The Company has reserves in various areas, including East Texas, Gulf Coast Basin and Oklahoma Woodford. Its annual production from East Texas area is approximately 114.1 billions of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe); Gulf Coast Basin is over 43.9 Bcfe, and Oklahoma Woodford is approximately 20.0 Bcfe. The net production from its East Texas assets averages over 30.4 millions of cubic feet equivalent (MMcfe) per day. Production from Gulf Coast Basin area totals approximately 37.8 MMcfe per day. The average daily production from its Oklahoma-Woodford properties totals over 25 MMcfe per day. The Company sells its oil and natural gas production under fixed or floating market contracts.

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