JP Energy Partners (NYSE: JPEP) and National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) are both utilities companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and valuation.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares JP Energy Partners and National Fuel Gas’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
JP Energy Partners N/A N/A N/A ($1.59) -5.94
National Fuel Gas $1.59 billion 3.11 $804.38 million $3.21 17.99

National Fuel Gas has higher revenue and earnings than JP Energy Partners. JP Energy Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than National Fuel Gas, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares JP Energy Partners and National Fuel Gas’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
JP Energy Partners -5.61% -5.99% -4.01%
National Fuel Gas 17.38% 18.31% 5.13%

Volatility & Risk

JP Energy Partners has a beta of 3.3, suggesting that its stock price is 230% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Fuel Gas has a beta of 0.95, suggesting that its stock price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for JP Energy Partners and National Fuel Gas, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
JP Energy Partners 0 0 0 0 N/A
National Fuel Gas 0 3 0 0 2.00

National Fuel Gas has a consensus price target of $59.67, indicating a potential upside of 3.32%. Given National Fuel Gas’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe National Fuel Gas is more favorable than JP Energy Partners.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

53.4% of JP Energy Partners shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.8% of National Fuel Gas shares are held by institutional investors. 2.6% of National Fuel Gas shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

JP Energy Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 13.8%. National Fuel Gas pays an annual dividend of $1.66 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. JP Energy Partners pays out -81.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. National Fuel Gas pays out 51.7% 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. National Fuel Gas has raised its dividend for 46 consecutive years. JP Energy Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

National Fuel Gas beats JP Energy Partners on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About JP Energy Partners

JP Energy Partners LP owns, operates, develops and acquires a portfolio of midstream energy assets. The Company provides midstream infrastructure solutions for the supply of crude oil, refined products and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in the United States. The Company’s segments include crude oil pipelines and storage, refined products terminals and storage, and NGL distribution and sales. The Company’s crude oil businesses are situated in areas, including the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford shale. Its crude oil pipelines and storage segment manages the physical movement of crude oil from origination to final destination through its network of owned and leased assets. Its refined product terminals and storage segment consists of approximately two refined products terminals located in North Little Rock, Arkansas and Caddo Mills, Texas. The Company’s NGL distribution and sales segment involves the retail, commercial and wholesale sale of NGLs and other refined products.

About National Fuel Gas

National Fuel Gas Company is a holding company. The Company is an energy company engaged principally in the production, gathering, transportation, distribution and marketing of natural gas. The Company operates in five business segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing. The Company operates an integrated business, with assets centered in western New York and Pennsylvania, and the production and transportation of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale basin. The Company also develops and produces oil reserves, primarily in California. The Company’s Exploration and Production segment operations are carried out by Seneca Resources Corporation (Seneca), a Pennsylvania corporation. The Company’s National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation (Supply Corporation), a Pennsylvania corporation, and Empire Pipeline, Inc. (Empire), a New York corporation, carry out the Company’s Pipeline and Storage segment operations.

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