Critical Survey: Bill Barrett (BBG) and Noble Energy (NBL)

Bill Barrett (NYSE: BBG) and Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability, valuation and institutional ownership.

Risk & Volatility

Bill Barrett has a beta of 3.6, meaning that its share price is 260% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Noble Energy has a beta of 1.16, meaning that its share price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

84.8% of Bill Barrett shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.4% of Noble Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 2.7% of Bill Barrett shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.3% of Noble Energy shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Bill Barrett and Noble Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Bill Barrett -49.61% -7.59% -3.05%
Noble Energy -45.85% 1.06% 0.49%


Noble Energy pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Bill Barrett does not pay a dividend. Noble Energy pays out -10.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Bill Barrett and Noble Energy, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Bill Barrett 0 7 6 0 2.46
Noble Energy 0 2 19 0 2.90

Bill Barrett presently has a consensus target price of $6.63, suggesting a potential upside of 25.24%. Noble Energy has a consensus target price of $39.53, suggesting a potential upside of 19.31%. Given Bill Barrett’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Bill Barrett is more favorable than Noble Energy.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Bill Barrett and Noble Energy’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Bill Barrett $178.82 million 2.26 -$170.37 million ($1.61) -3.29
Noble Energy $3.49 billion 4.62 -$998.00 million ($3.99) -8.30

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


Noble Energy beats Bill Barrett on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Bill Barrett Company Profile

Bill Barrett Corporation is an independent energy company that develops, acquires and explores for oil and natural gas resources. The Company’s assets and operations are located in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. It has over two areas of production: The Denver-Julesburg Basin (DJ Basin) and the Uinta Oil Program in the Uinta Basin. Its acreage positions in the DJ Basin are located in Colorado’s eastern plains and parts of southeastern Wyoming. It had interests in 299 gross producing wells and served as an operator in 202 gross wells, as of December 31, 2016. The Uinta Basin is located in northeastern Utah. Uinta Basin’s estimated proved reserves are 21.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe). Uinta Basin has interests in approximately 240 gross producing wells. The Company serves as an operator in over 170 gross wells. The Uinta Oil Program includes over three areas of development located in the basin referred as Blacktail Ridge, Lake Canyon and East Bluebell.

Noble Energy Company Profile

Noble Energy, Inc. is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in crude oil, natural gas and natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) exploration, development, production and acquisition. The Company’s segments include: United States, including the onshore DJ Basin, Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Marcellus Shale and offshore deepwater Gulf of Mexico, as well as the consolidated accounts of Noble Midstream Partners LP (Noble Midstream Partners); Eastern Mediterranean, including offshore Israel and Cyprus; West Africa, including offshore Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon, and Other International and Corporate, including new ventures, such as offshore the Falkland Islands, Suriname and Newfoundland. The Company’s portfolio of assets is diversified through the United States and international projects and production mix among crude oil, natural gas and NGLs. Its business focuses on both the United States unconventional basins and certain global conventional basins.

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