Global Water Resources (NASDAQ: GWRS) and Consolidated Water Co. (NASDAQ:CWCO) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Global Water Resources and Consolidated Water Co., as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Global Water Resources 0 0 1 0 3.00
Consolidated Water Co. 0 0 1 0 3.00

Global Water Resources currently has a consensus price target of $11.00, indicating a potential upside of 17.02%. Consolidated Water Co. has a consensus price target of $15.00, indicating a potential upside of 20.97%. Given Consolidated Water Co.’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Consolidated Water Co. is more favorable than Global Water Resources.

Profitability

This table compares Global Water Resources and Consolidated Water Co.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Global Water Resources 5.05% 10.46% 0.64%
Consolidated Water Co. 4.98% 5.40% 5.06%

Volatility & Risk

Global Water Resources has a beta of 0.31, meaning that its stock price is 69% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Consolidated Water Co. has a beta of 0.87, meaning that its stock price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Global Water Resources pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Consolidated Water Co. pays an annual dividend of $0.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Global Water Resources pays out 350.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Consolidated Water Co. pays out 150.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

16.2% of Global Water Resources shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 51.4% of Consolidated Water Co. shares are held by institutional investors. 3.2% of Consolidated Water Co. shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Global Water Resources and Consolidated Water Co.’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Global Water Resources $30.33 million 6.08 $12.60 million $0.08 117.51
Consolidated Water Co. $59.39 million 3.11 $12.82 million $0.20 62.00

Consolidated Water Co. has higher revenue and earnings than Global Water Resources. Consolidated Water Co. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Global Water Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Consolidated Water Co. beats Global Water Resources on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Global Water Resources

Global Water Resources, Inc. is a water resource management company. The Company owns, operates and manages water, wastewater and recycled water utilities in strategically located communities, principally in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. The Company focuses on the issues of water supply and scarcity, and applies principles of water conservation through water reclamation and reuse. As of April 28, 2016, the Company owned nine water and wastewater utilities in communities principally in metropolitan Phoenix. As of April 28, 2016, the Company served over 50,000 people in approximately 20,000 homes within its 332 square miles of certificated service areas. The Company is creating renewable water systems where wastewater from homes is treated and used again for various outdoor applications.

About Consolidated Water Co.

Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. develops and operates seawater desalination plants (that utilize reverse osmosis technology) and water distribution systems in areas where naturally occurring supplies of potable water are scarce or non-existent. The Company operates in three segments: retail water operations, bulk water operations and services operations. The retail water operations segment produces and supplies water to end users, including residential, commercial and government customers. The bulk water operations segment produces potable water from seawater and sells this water to governments and private customers. The services operations segment provides engineering and management services, including designing and constructing desalination plants, and managing and operating plants owned by affiliated companies. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, it provides various services to its customers in the Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, Belize, the British Virgin Islands and Indonesia.

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