Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT) and Cleco Corporate Holdings (NYSE:CNL) are both utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Dividends

Alliant Energy Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.26 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Cleco Corporate Holdings does not pay a dividend. Alliant Energy Corporation pays out 74.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Alliant Energy Corporation has increased its dividend for 11 consecutive years and Cleco Corporate Holdings has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Alliant Energy Corporation and Cleco Corporate Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alliant Energy Corporation 0 4 0 0 2.00
Cleco Corporate Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A

Alliant Energy Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $41.00, indicating a potential downside of 6.54%. Given Alliant Energy Corporation’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Alliant Energy Corporation is more favorable than Cleco Corporate Holdings.

Profitability

This table compares Alliant Energy Corporation and Cleco Corporate Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alliant Energy Corporation 11.85% 11.43% 3.34%
Cleco Corporate Holdings 8.24% 5.05% 1.60%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

66.5% of Alliant Energy Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.3% of Alliant Energy Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Alliant Energy Corporation and Cleco Corporate Holdings’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alliant Energy Corporation $3.34 billion 3.03 $1.07 billion $1.70 25.81
Cleco Corporate Holdings N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Alliant Energy Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Cleco Corporate Holdings.

Summary

Alliant Energy Corporation beats Cleco Corporate Holdings on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

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.

About Cleco Corporate Holdings

Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC, formerly Cleco Corporation, is a public utility holding company. The Company’s segments include Cleco Power and Other. Cleco Power is a regulated electric utility company that owns over 10 generating units with a total nameplate capacity of approximately 3,330 megawatts (MW) and serves approximately 287,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns one transmission substation in Louisiana and one transmission substation in Mississippi. Cleco Power is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity within Louisiana. It owns natural gas pipelines and interconnections at all of its generating facilities, which allow it to access various natural gas supply markets and maintain an economical fuel supply for its customers. The Company holds investments in its subsidiary, Cleco Power LLC (Cleco Power).

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