Nustar GP Holdings (NYSE: NSH) and TransMontaigne Partners L.P. (NYSE:TLP) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings, profitabiliy and risk.

Dividends

Nustar GP Holdings pays an annual dividend of $2.18 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.7%. TransMontaigne Partners L.P. pays an annual dividend of $2.90 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.8%. Nustar GP Holdings pays out 170.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. TransMontaigne Partners L.P. pays out 123.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. TransMontaigne Partners L.P. has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Nustar GP Holdings and TransMontaigne Partners L.P., as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nustar GP Holdings 1 5 1 0 2.00
TransMontaigne Partners L.P. 0 1 3 0 2.75

Nustar GP Holdings presently has a consensus price target of $28.00, suggesting a potential upside of 12.22%. TransMontaigne Partners L.P. has a consensus price target of $49.25, suggesting a potential upside of 15.20%. Given TransMontaigne Partners L.P.’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe TransMontaigne Partners L.P. is more favorable than Nustar GP Holdings.

Profitability

This table compares Nustar GP Holdings and TransMontaigne Partners L.P.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nustar GP Holdings 96.84% 22.15% 19.72%
TransMontaigne Partners L.P. 25.71% 11.66% 6.38%

Risk & Volatility

Nustar GP Holdings has a beta of 1.19, indicating that its stock price is 19% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, TransMontaigne Partners L.P. has a beta of 0.29, indicating that its stock price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Nustar GP Holdings and TransMontaigne Partners L.P.’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nustar GP Holdings $57.19 million 18.74 $54.98 million $1.28 19.49
TransMontaigne Partners L.P. $169.15 million 4.08 $78.82 million $2.35 18.19

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. has higher revenue and earnings than Nustar GP Holdings. TransMontaigne Partners L.P. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Nustar GP Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

56.0% of Nustar GP Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 61.7% of TransMontaigne Partners L.P. shares are held by institutional investors. 21.4% of Nustar GP Holdings shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 20.4% of TransMontaigne Partners L.P. shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. beats Nustar GP Holdings on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Nustar GP Holdings Company Profile

NuStar GP Holdings, LLC holds interests in NuStar Energy L.P. (NuStar Energy). NuStar Energy is engaged in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, the terminalling and storage of petroleum products and the marketing of petroleum products. NuStar Energy has terminal and storage facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, including St. Eustatius in the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom. The Company manages NuStar Energy through its ownership of NuStar GP, LLC and Riverwalk Holdings, LLC, which own Riverwalk Logistics L.P., the general partner of NuStar Energy.

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. Company Profile

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. is a terminaling and transportation company with operations in the United States along the Gulf Coast, in the Midwest, in Houston and Brownsville, Texas, along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and in the Southeast. The Company operates its business in five principal business segments: Gulf Coast terminals, Midwest terminals and pipeline system, Brownsville terminals, River terminals and Southeast terminals. It provides integrated terminaling, storage, transportation and related services for companies engaged in the trading, distribution and marketing of light refined petroleum products, heavy refined petroleum products, crude oil, chemicals, fertilizers and other liquid products. It is controlled by its general partner, TransMontaigne GP, which is an indirect subsidiary of ArcLight Energy Partners Fund VI, L.P. (ArcLight). The Company uses its terminaling facilities to, among other things, store the refined products in its tanks for its customers.

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