Encana (NYSE: ECA) and Clayton Williams Energy (NYSE:CWEI) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, profitability and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

69.0% of Encana shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 67.8% of Clayton Williams Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.1% of Encana shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 36.4% of Clayton Williams Energy shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Encana and Clayton Williams Energy, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Encana 0 4 15 2 2.90
Clayton Williams Energy 0 1 0 0 2.00

Encana currently has a consensus price target of $14.45, indicating a potential upside of 22.96%. Given Encana’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Encana is more favorable than Clayton Williams Energy.

Risk & Volatility

Encana has a beta of 2.16, suggesting that its stock price is 116% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Clayton Williams Energy has a beta of 2.35, suggesting that its stock price is 135% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Encana 19.08% 5.95% 2.64%
Clayton Williams Energy -16.83% -63.50% -7.44%

Dividends

Encana pays an annual dividend of $0.06 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Clayton Williams Energy does not pay a dividend. Encana pays out 7.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Encana and Clayton Williams Energy’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Encana $2.92 billion 3.92 -$944.00 million $0.79 14.87
Clayton Williams Energy N/A N/A N/A ($21.71) -6.08

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

Summary

Encana beats Clayton Williams Energy on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Encana Company Profile

Encana Corporation is an energy producer that is focused on developing its multi-basin portfolio of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) producing plays. The Company’s operations also include the marketing of natural gas, oil and NGLs. All of its reserves and production are located in North America. It operates through three segments: Canadian Operations, USA Operations and Market optimization. Its Canadian Operations segment includes the exploration for, development of, and production of natural gas oil and NGLs and other related activities within Canada. Its Canadian operations include Montney in northeast British Columbia and northwest Alberta and Duvernay in west central Alberta. The USA Operations include the exploration for, development of, and production of natural gas, oil and NGLs, and other related activities within the United States. The Market Optimization activities are primarily responsible for the sale of the Company’s production to third party customers.

Clayton Williams Energy Company Profile

Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the exploration for and production of oil and natural gas primarily in its core area in Southern Reeves County, Texas. The Company operates through two segments: oil and gas exploration and production, and contract drilling services. The Company focuses on developmental drilling in prolific oil shale provinces. The Company has holdings in the oil shale plays in the United States, the Wolfcamp Shale in the Southern Delaware Basin of West Texas. Its exploration program consists of generating exploratory prospects, leasing the acreage related to these prospects, drilling exploratory wells on these prospects to determine if recoverable oil and gas reserves exist, drilling developmental wells on these prospects and producing and selling any resulting oil and gas production. The Permian Basin is a sedimentary basin in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico.

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