UNITIL Corporation (NYSE: UTL) and Vistra Energy Corp. (NYSE:VST) are both utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

UNITIL Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Vistra Energy Corp. pays an annual dividend of $2.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 12.5%. UNITIL Corporation pays out 72.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. UNITIL Corporation has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares UNITIL Corporation and Vistra Energy Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
UNITIL Corporation 7.09% 9.39% 2.45%
Vistra Energy Corp. 14.89% 16.11% 7.35%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares UNITIL Corporation and Vistra Energy Corp.’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
UNITIL Corporation $383.40 million 1.86 $27.10 million $2.00 25.25
Vistra Energy Corp. $5.16 billion 1.54 $22.69 billion N/A N/A

Vistra Energy Corp. has higher revenue and earnings than UNITIL Corporation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for UNITIL Corporation and Vistra Energy Corp., as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
UNITIL Corporation 0 1 0 0 2.00
Vistra Energy Corp. 0 2 7 0 2.78

UNITIL Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $47.00, indicating a potential downside of 6.91%. Vistra Energy Corp. has a consensus target price of $20.28, indicating a potential upside of 8.96%. Given Vistra Energy Corp.’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Vistra Energy Corp. is more favorable than UNITIL Corporation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

59.4% of UNITIL Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.5% of UNITIL Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Vistra Energy Corp. beats UNITIL Corporation on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About UNITIL Corporation

Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company. The Company’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts and the local distribution of natural gas in southeastern New Hampshire, portions of southern Maine to the Lewiston-Auburn area and in the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts. Its segments include utility gas operations, utility electric operations and non-regulated. Its operations include natural gas operations; natural gas distribution utility operations; gas transmission pipeline operations; electric distribution utility operations, and non-regulated and other non-utility operations. As of December 31, 2016, it was engaged in the distribution of electricity and natural gas to approximately 184,200 customers throughout its service territories in the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.

About Vistra Energy Corp.

Vistra Energy Corp, formerly TCEH Corp. is a holding company. The Company is an energy company, which is focused on energy and power generation markets through operation as a generator and retailer of electricity in Texas market. Its portfolio of businesses consists primarily of Luminant and TXU Energy. It is engaged in electricity market activities in Texas, including electricity generation, wholesale energy sales and purchases, commodity risk management activities and retail electricity operations. Luminant generates and sells electricity and related products from its fleet of generation facilities totaling approximately 17,000 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 megawatts fueled by nuclear power, 8,000 megawatts fueled by coal and 6,000 megawatts fueled by natural gas. The Company is a purchaser of wind-generated electricity. TXU Energy sells retail electricity and services to approximately 1.7 million residential and business customers in Texas.

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