Calpine Corporation (NYSE: CPN) and Pampa Energia (NYSE:PAM) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, earnings, profitability, risk and institutional ownership.

Risk and Volatility

Calpine Corporation has a beta of 1.02, indicating that its share price is 2% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pampa Energia has a beta of 1.26, indicating that its share price is 26% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

96.9% of Calpine Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 44.4% of Pampa Energia shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.2% of Calpine Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Calpine Corporation and Pampa Energia’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Calpine Corporation $8.03 billion 0.67 $1.55 billion $0.13 114.62
Pampa Energia $3.11 billion 1.65 $723.59 million $1.44 48.53

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

Profitability

This table compares Calpine Corporation and Pampa Energia’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Calpine Corporation 0.57% -8.92% -1.57%
Pampa Energia 0.33% -2.84% 0.24%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Calpine Corporation and Pampa Energia, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Calpine Corporation 0 7 3 0 2.30
Pampa Energia 0 1 1 0 2.50

Calpine Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $14.84, suggesting a potential downside of 0.38%. Pampa Energia has a consensus target price of $72.00, suggesting a potential upside of 3.02%. Given Pampa Energia’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Pampa Energia is more favorable than Calpine Corporation.

Calpine Corporation Company Profile

Calpine Corporation is a power generation company. The Company is engaged in the ownership and operation of primarily natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants in North America. The Company’s segments include West (including geothermal), Texas and East (including Canada). In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, the Company has generating units capable of burning either natural gas or fuel oil. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s portfolio consisted of two types of power generation technologies, including natural gas-fired combustion turbines, such as combined-cycle plants, and renewable geothermal conventional steam turbines. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s portfolio included 80 power plants, including one under construction, with an aggregate generation capacity of 25,908 Megawatt (MW) and 828 MW under construction. As of December 31, 2016, it had four MW of capacity from solar power generation technology at its Vineland Solar Energy Center in New Jersey.

Pampa Energia Company Profile

Pampa Energia S.A. is an integrated electricity company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Argentina. Its segments include generation, transmission, distribution, oil and gas, and holding and others. Its generation segment includes a direct and indirect equity interest in Central Piedra Buena S.A., Central Termica Guemes S.A., Central Termica Loma de la Lata S.A. and Pampa Comercializadora S.A, among others, and investments in companies in the electricity generation sector. Its transmission segment includes an indirect equity interest through Compania Inversora en Transmision Electrica Citelec S.A. Its distribution segment includes an indirect equity interest in Electricidad Argentina S.A. and Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte S.A. Its Oil and gas segment includes a direct interest in Petrolera Pampa S.A. Its holding and others segment includes financial investment operations, among others.

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