Range Resources (NYSE: RRC) and Comstock Resources (NYSE:CRK) are both energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, risk, profitability, dividends, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

52.7% of Comstock Resources shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of Range Resources shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.6% of Comstock Resources shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Range Resources and Comstock Resources, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Range Resources 1 7 17 0 2.64
Comstock Resources 1 2 3 0 2.33

Range Resources currently has a consensus price target of $30.45, suggesting a potential upside of 81.48%. Comstock Resources has a consensus price target of $11.75, suggesting a potential upside of 34.59%. Given Range Resources’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Range Resources is more favorable than Comstock Resources.

Profitability

This table compares Range Resources and Comstock Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Range Resources -2.23% 1.63% 0.79%
Comstock Resources -53.79% N/A -9.98%

Volatility & Risk

Range Resources has a beta of 0.91, suggesting that its stock price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Comstock Resources has a beta of -0.48, suggesting that its stock price is 148% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Range Resources pays an annual dividend of $0.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Comstock Resources does not pay a dividend. Range Resources pays out -38.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Comstock Resources has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Range Resources and Comstock Resources’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Range Resources $1.10 billion 3.79 -$521.38 million ($0.21) -79.90
Comstock Resources $175.71 million 0.77 -$135.13 million ($8.91) -0.98

Comstock Resources has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Range Resources. Range Resources is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Comstock Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Range Resources beats Comstock Resources on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Range Resources Company Profile

Range Resources Corporation is an independent natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and oil company. The Company is engaged in the exploration and production of natural gas, NGLs and oil in the United States. It is engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of natural gas and crude oil properties located primarily in the Appalachian and North Louisiana regions of the United States. Its principal areas of operation are the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania and the Lower Cotton Valley formation of North Louisiana. Its properties consist of interests in developed and undeveloped natural gas and oil leases. Its properties in the Appalachian region are located in the Appalachian Basin in the northeastern United States, predominantly in Pennsylvania. The Company’s other operations include drilling, production and field operations in the Texas Panhandle, as well as in the Anadarko Basin of Western Oklahoma and the Nemaha Uplift of Northern Oklahoma and Kansas.

Comstock Resources Company Profile

Comstock Resources, Inc. is an energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in the United States. The Company operates in the segment of exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The Company’s oil and gas operations are concentrated in Texas and Louisiana. Its operations are focused in two operating areas: East Texas/North Louisiana and South Texas. The Company’s properties in the East Texas/North Louisiana region include approximately 80,660 acres in the Haynesville or Bossier shale formations. The Company’s Eagleville field includes approximately 30,220 acres located in the oil window of the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas. The Company owns interests in over 1,575 producing oil and natural gas wells, and operates over 950 of these wells. The Company owns interests in over 20 wells in the Rosita field, located in Duval County, Texas.

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