Williams Companies (NYSE: WMB) and Genesis Energy (NYSE:GEL) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Williams Companies and Genesis Energy’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Williams Companies $7.50 billion 3.19 -$424.00 million $0.57 50.70
Genesis Energy $1.71 billion 1.67 $113.24 million $0.71 32.82

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

Risk and Volatility

Williams Companies has a beta of 1.37, indicating that its share price is 37% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Genesis Energy has a beta of 1.15, indicating that its share price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

84.8% of Williams Companies shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.5% of Genesis Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 0.5% of Williams Companies shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of Genesis Energy shares are held 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Williams Companies and Genesis Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Williams Companies 0 2 10 1 2.92
Genesis Energy 0 6 3 0 2.33

Williams Companies presently has a consensus price target of $33.73, suggesting a potential upside of 16.70%. Genesis Energy has a consensus price target of $33.13, suggesting a potential upside of 42.17%. Given Genesis Energy’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Genesis Energy is more favorable than Williams Companies.

Dividends

Williams Companies pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.2%. Genesis Energy pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.6%. Williams Companies pays out 210.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Genesis Energy pays out 281.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Genesis Energy has increased its dividend for 12 consecutive years. Genesis Energy is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Williams Companies and Genesis Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Williams Companies 5.90% 3.23% 1.02%
Genesis Energy 5.14% 5.36% 1.89%

Summary

Williams Companies beats Genesis Energy on 10 of the 18 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Williams Companies

The Williams Companies, Inc. is an energy infrastructure company. The Company is focused on connecting North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays to markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), and olefins. As of December 31, 2016, its interstate gas pipelines, midstream and olefins production interests were held through its investment in Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ). The Company’s segments include Williams Partners, Williams NGL & Petchem Services and Other. The Williams Partners segment includes its consolidated master limited partnership, WPZ. The gas pipeline business includes interstate natural gas pipelines and pipeline joint project investments. The midstream business provides natural gas gathering, treating, processing and compression services. The Williams NGL & Petchem Services segment includes its Texas Belle pipeline and certain other domestic olefins pipeline assets. Other segment includes its corporate operations and Canadian construction services company.

About Genesis Energy

Genesis Energy L.P. is a limited partnership focused on the midstream segment of the oil and gas industry. The Company operates through four segments: Offshore Pipeline Transportation, Refinery Services, Marine Transportation, and Supply and Logistics. The Offshore Pipeline Transportation segment is engaged in the offshore transportation of crude oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico. The Refinery Services segment is involved in the processing of high sulfur (or sour) gas streams as part of refining operations to remove the sulfur and selling the related by-product, sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS). The Marine Transportation segment provides waterborne transportation of petroleum products and crude oil throughout North America. The Supply and Logistics segment is engaged in terminaling, blending, storing, marketing, and transporting crude oil and petroleum products (fuel oil, asphalt and other heavy refined products) and carbon dioxide.

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