BP p.l.c. (NYSE: BP) and Western Gas Equity Partners, (NYSE:WGP) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, profitability and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for BP p.l.c. and Western Gas Equity Partners,, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
BP p.l.c. 2 6 11 0 2.47
Western Gas Equity Partners, 0 2 7 0 2.78

BP p.l.c. currently has a consensus price target of $36.58, indicating a potential downside of 5.71%. Western Gas Equity Partners, has a consensus price target of $51.00, indicating a potential upside of 29.80%. Given Western Gas Equity Partners,’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Western Gas Equity Partners, is more favorable than BP p.l.c..

Volatility & Risk

BP p.l.c. has a beta of 0.95, suggesting that its stock price is 5% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Western Gas Equity Partners, has a beta of 1.57, suggesting that its stock price is 57% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

10.1% of BP p.l.c. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 17.8% of Western Gas Equity Partners, shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of BP p.l.c. shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

BP p.l.c. pays an annual dividend of $2.38 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.1%. Western Gas Equity Partners, pays an annual dividend of $2.11 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.4%. BP p.l.c. pays out 207.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Western Gas Equity Partners, pays out 129.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Western Gas Equity Partners, has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares BP p.l.c. and Western Gas Equity Partners,’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
BP p.l.c. 1.74% 3.64% 1.34%
Western Gas Equity Partners, 17.50% 8.78% 4.69%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares BP p.l.c. and Western Gas Equity Partners,’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
BP p.l.c. $209.85 billion 0.61 $19.97 billion $1.15 33.73
Western Gas Equity Partners, $2.03 billion 4.24 $944.00 million $1.63 24.10

BP p.l.c. has higher revenue and earnings than Western Gas Equity Partners,. Western Gas Equity Partners, is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than BP p.l.c., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Western Gas Equity Partners, beats BP p.l.c. on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About BP p.l.c.

BP p.l.c. is an integrated oil and gas company. The Company owns an interest in OJSC Oil Company Rosneft (Rosneft), an oil and gas company. The Company’s segments include Upstream, Downstream, Rosneft, and Other businesses and corporate. The Upstream segment is engaged in oil and natural gas exploration, field development and production, as well as midstream transportation, storage and processing. The Downstream segment has global manufacturing and marketing operations. The Rosneft segment has a resource base of hydrocarbons onshore and offshore. The Other businesses and corporate segment comprises the biofuels and wind businesses, shipping and treasury functions, and corporate activities around the world. The Company provides its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines moving and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items as diverse as paints, clothes and packaging.

About Western Gas Equity Partners,

Western Gas Equity Partners, LP is a limited partnership. The Company is formed to own approximately three types of partnership interests in Western Gas Partners, LP (WES). WES is an master limited partnership (MLP) engaged in the business of gathering, compressing, treating, processing and transporting natural gas, and gathering, stabilizing and transporting condensate, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil. WES provides these midstream services for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (Anadarko), as well as for third-party producers and customers. Its assets and investments are located in the Rocky Mountains (Colorado, Utah and Wyoming), North-central Pennsylvania and Texas. The Bison treating facility treats and compresses gas from coal-bed methane wells in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. MIGC, LLC receives gas from various coal-bed methane gathering systems in the Powder River Basin and the Hilight system, as well as from WBI Energy Transmission, Inc.

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