NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) and Atlantic Power Corporation (NYSE:AT) are both utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, earnings and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for NRG Energy and Atlantic Power Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NRG Energy 0 1 6 0 2.86
Atlantic Power Corporation 0 3 0 0 2.00

NRG Energy currently has a consensus target price of $21.83, suggesting a potential downside of 17.98%. Atlantic Power Corporation has a consensus target price of $2.60, suggesting a potential upside of 1.96%. Given Atlantic Power Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Atlantic Power Corporation is more favorable than NRG Energy.

Volatility and Risk

NRG Energy has a beta of 1.24, meaning that its share price is 24% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Atlantic Power Corporation has a beta of 1.69, meaning that its share price is 69% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares NRG Energy and Atlantic Power Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NRG Energy -10.67% 12.38% 1.85%
Atlantic Power Corporation -25.71% 27.03% 1.21%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

91.7% of NRG Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.8% of Atlantic Power Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.3% of NRG Energy shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Atlantic Power Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

NRG Energy pays an annual dividend of $0.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Atlantic Power Corporation does not pay a dividend. NRG Energy pays out -2.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares NRG Energy and Atlantic Power Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NRG Energy $12.53 billion 0.67 $2.50 billion ($4.36) -6.11
Atlantic Power Corporation $417.00 million 0.70 $179.50 million ($0.96) -2.66

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

Summary

NRG Energy beats Atlantic Power Corporation on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About NRG Energy

NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG) is an integrated power company. The Company is engaged in producing, selling and delivering electricity and related products and services in various markets in the United States. The Company’s segments include Generation, Retail, Renewables, NRG Yield, Inc. (NRG Yield) and Corporate activities. The Generation segment includes generation, international and Boston Energy Trading and Marketing LLC (BETM). The Retail segment includes Mass customers and Business Solutions. Its Business Solutions include commercial, industrial and governmental/institutional (C&I) customers, and other distributed and reliability products. The Renewables segment includes solar and wind assets. The NRG Yield segment includes certain of the Company’s contracted generation assets. The corporate activities segment includes residential solar and electric vehicle services. The Company owned and operated approximately 47,000 megawatts (MW) of generation, as of December 31, 2016.

About Atlantic Power Corporation

Atlantic Power Corporation (Atlantic Power) owns and operates a fleet of power generation assets in the United States and Canada. The Company’s power generation projects sell electricity to utilities and other commercial customers. Atlantic Power’s segments include East U.S., West U.S. and Canada. The Company’s East U.S. segment comprises natural gas, biomass, coal and hydro projects. The Company’s projects under the West U.S. segment include Naval Station, Naval Training Center, North Island, Oxnard, Manchief and Frederickson, which are focused on natural gas, and Koma Kulshan, which is focused on hydro. Under the Canada segment, the Company’s projects located in British Columbia include Mamquam, Mamquam and Williams Lake. Its Calstock and Tunis projects are located in Ontario. The Company’s portfolio consisted of interests in 19 operational power generation projects across nine states in the United States and two provinces in Canada, as of December 31, 2016.

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