Copano Energy, L.L.C. (NASDAQ: CPNO) and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE:ETE) are both natural gas pipeline companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, earnings, profitability, dividends, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Copano Energy, L.L.C. and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P.’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Copano Energy, L.L.C. N/A N/A N/A ($2.39) N/A
Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. $36.01 billion 0.53 $983.00 million $1.02 17.44

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. has higher revenue and earnings than Copano Energy, L.L.C.. Copano Energy, L.L.C. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Energy Transfer Equity, L.P., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

48.5% of Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.3% of Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Copano Energy, L.L.C. and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P., as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Copano Energy, L.L.C. 0 0 0 0 N/A
Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. 0 3 11 0 2.79

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. has a consensus target price of $21.55, suggesting a potential upside of 21.11%.

Dividends

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. pays an annual dividend of $1.14 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.4%. Copano Energy, L.L.C. does not pay a dividend. Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. pays out 111.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Copano Energy, L.L.C. has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Copano Energy, L.L.C. and Energy Transfer Equity, L.P.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Copano Energy, L.L.C. N/A N/A N/A
Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. 2.18% 3.79% 1.14%

Summary

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. beats Copano Energy, L.L.C. on 9 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Copano Energy, L.L.C. Company Profile

Copano Energy, L.L.C. (Copano) is an energy company engaged in the business of providing midstream services to natural gas producers, including gathering, transportation and processing of natural gas, fractionation and transportation of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and other related services. Copano’s assets are located in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Louisiana, and include approximately 6,800 miles of active natural gas gathering and transmission pipelines, and 10 natural gas processing plants, with over one billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of combined processing capacity. In addition to the natural gas pipelines, it operates 380 miles of NGL pipelines. Copano operates in three segments: Texas, Oklahoma and Rocky Mountains. In May 2013, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP acquired the entire share capital of Copano Energy LLC.

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. Company Profile

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (ETE) owns equity interests in Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (ETP) and Sunoco LP, which are engaged in diversified energy-related services. The Company’s segments include Investment in ETP, including the consolidated operations of ETP; Investment in Sunoco LP, including the consolidated operations of Sunoco LP; Investment in Lake Charles LNG, including the operations of Lake Charles LNG, and Corporate and Other. Its Investment in ETP segment includes the ETP’s operations, which include intrastate transportation and storage operations; interstate transportation and storage operations; midstream operations; liquids transportation and services operations; ETP’s Investment in Sunoco Logistics; Retail Marketing operations, and ETP’s other operations and Investments. The Investment in Sunoco LP segment includes wholesale operations and retail operations. Lake Charles LNG owns a LNG import terminal and regasification facility located on Louisiana’s Gulf Coast.

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