Abraxas Petroleum (NASDAQ: AXAS) and Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, risk, profitability and valuation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

45.9% of Abraxas Petroleum shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.7% of Southwestern Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.5% of Abraxas Petroleum shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Southwestern Energy shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Abraxas Petroleum and Southwestern Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Abraxas Petroleum 18.83% 17.00% 7.73%
Southwestern Energy 16.31% 23.99% 4.54%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Abraxas Petroleum and Southwestern Energy’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Abraxas Petroleum $56.56 million 6.31 -$96.37 million $0.09 23.89
Southwestern Energy $2.44 billion 1.34 -$2.64 billion $0.63 10.13

Abraxas Petroleum has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Southwestern Energy. Southwestern Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Abraxas Petroleum, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Abraxas Petroleum and Southwestern Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Abraxas Petroleum 0 0 3 0 3.00
Southwestern Energy 3 14 6 0 2.13

Abraxas Petroleum currently has a consensus target price of $2.33, indicating a potential upside of 8.53%. Southwestern Energy has a consensus target price of $11.00, indicating a potential upside of 72.41%. Given Southwestern Energy’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Southwestern Energy is more favorable than Abraxas Petroleum.

Risk & Volatility

Abraxas Petroleum has a beta of 1.43, indicating that its stock price is 43% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Southwestern Energy has a beta of 1.22, indicating that its stock price is 22% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Abraxas Petroleum beats Southwestern Energy on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Abraxas Petroleum

Abraxas Petroleum Corporation is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and gas. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s estimated net proved reserves were 44.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe), of which 33.6% were classified as proved developed, 74% were oil and natural gas liquids (NGL), and 95% of which (on a PV-10 basis) were operated by the Company. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s daily net production was 6,181 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boepd), of which 61% was oil or liquids. The Company’s oil and gas assets are located in three operating regions: the Rocky Mountain, Permian Basin and onshore Gulf Coast. The Company’s properties in the Rocky Mountain region are located in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana, and in the Green River Powder River and Unita Basins of Wyoming and Utah.

About Southwestern Energy

Southwestern Energy Company is an energy company engaged in natural gas and oil exploration, development and production. The Company operates through two segments: Exploration and Production (E&P) and Midstream Services. Its operations in northeast Pennsylvania are primarily focused on the unconventional natural gas reservoir known as the Marcellus Shale. Through its affiliated midstream subsidiaries, it is engaged in natural gas gathering activities in Arkansas and Louisiana. Its operations are principally focused on the development of unconventional natural gas reservoirs located in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Arkansas. As of December 31, 2016, its estimated proved natural gas and oil reserves were 5,253 billions of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe). During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, it gathered approximately 600 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale area, including 42 Bcf of natural gas from third-party operated wells.

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