Delta Natural Gas (NASDAQ: DGAS) is one of 17 public companies in the “Natural Gas Distribution” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its competitors? We will compare Delta Natural Gas to similar businesses based on the strength of its earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership and profitability.

Risk and Volatility

Delta Natural Gas has a beta of 0.57, meaning that its share price is 43% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Delta Natural Gas’ competitors have a beta of 0.44, meaning that their average share price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Delta Natural Gas and its competitors, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Delta Natural Gas 0 0 0 0 N/A
Delta Natural Gas Competitors 57 205 220 5 2.36

As a group, “Natural Gas Distribution” companies have a potential downside of 2.30%. Given Delta Natural Gas’ competitors higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Delta Natural Gas has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Delta Natural Gas and its competitors gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
Delta Natural Gas N/A N/A 34.48
Delta Natural Gas Competitors $1.99 billion $162.23 million 22.77

Delta Natural Gas’ competitors have higher revenue and earnings than Delta Natural Gas. Delta Natural Gas is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Profitability

This table compares Delta Natural Gas and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Delta Natural Gas -3.88% -2.51% -1.03%
Delta Natural Gas Competitors 4.26% -3.43% 2.73%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

36.8% of Delta Natural Gas shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.6% of shares of all “Natural Gas Distribution” companies are owned by institutional investors. 4.2% of Delta Natural Gas shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of shares of all “Natural Gas Distribution” companies 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.

Summary

Delta Natural Gas competitors beat Delta Natural Gas on 5 of the 8 factors compared.

About Delta Natural Gas

Delta Natural Gas Company, Inc. distributes or transports natural gas to approximately 36,000 customers. The Company’s segments include regulated segment and non-regulated segment. Through regulated segment, the Company distributes natural gas to its retail customers in approximately 23 rural counties. Its three service areas are Nicholasville, Corbin and Berea, Kentucky. The non-regulated segment includes the Company’s three subsidiaries, Delta Resources, Inc. and Delgasco, Inc. (Delgasco), which purchase natural gas in the open market, including natural gas from Kentucky producers, and Enpro, Inc. (Enpro), which produces natural gas that is sold to Delgasco for resale in the open market. The Company owns approximately 2,600 miles of natural gas gathering, transmission, distribution and storage lines. These lines range in size over 12 inches in diameter. It also holds leases for the storage of natural gas under approximately 8,000 acres located in Bell County, Kentucky.

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