Schlumberger N.V. (NYSE: SLB) and Ion Geophysical Corporation (NYSE:IO) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings and valuation.

Dividends

Schlumberger N.V. pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. Ion Geophysical Corporation does not pay a dividend. Schlumberger N.V. pays out 1,538.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Schlumberger N.V. has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

79.7% of Schlumberger N.V. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 35.4% of Ion Geophysical Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of Schlumberger N.V. shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 15.2% of Ion Geophysical Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Schlumberger N.V. and Ion Geophysical Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Schlumberger N.V. $28.48 billion 3.08 $6.27 billion $0.13 487.11
Ion Geophysical Corporation $192.55 million 0.33 $49.11 million ($3.27) -1.62

Schlumberger N.V. has higher revenue and earnings than Ion Geophysical Corporation. Ion Geophysical Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Schlumberger N.V., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Schlumberger N.V. and Ion Geophysical Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Schlumberger N.V. 0 8 17 1 2.73
Ion Geophysical Corporation 0 0 0 0 N/A

Schlumberger N.V. currently has a consensus target price of $85.82, indicating a potential upside of 35.53%. Given Schlumberger N.V.’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Schlumberger N.V. is more favorable than Ion Geophysical Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Schlumberger N.V. and Ion Geophysical Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Schlumberger N.V. 0.62% 3.80% 2.02%
Ion Geophysical Corporation -20.03% -91.64% -12.33%

Volatility and Risk

Schlumberger N.V. has a beta of 1.02, indicating that its share price is 2% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ion Geophysical Corporation has a beta of 3.75, indicating that its share price is 275% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Schlumberger N.V. beats Ion Geophysical Corporation on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Schlumberger N.V.

Schlumberger N.V. provides technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production and processing to the oil and gas industry. The Company’s segments include Reservoir Characterization Group, Drilling Group, Production Group and Cameron Group. The Reservoir Characterization Group consists of the principal technologies involved in finding and defining hydrocarbon resources. The Drilling Group consists of the principal technologies involved in the drilling and positioning of oil and gas wells. The Production Group consists of the principal technologies involved in the lifetime production of oil and gas reservoirs and includes Well Services, Completions, Artificial Lift, Integrated Production Services (IPS) and Schlumberger Production Management (SPM). The Cameron Group consists of the principal technologies involved in pressure and flow control for drilling and intervention rigs, oil and gas wells and production facilities.

About Ion Geophysical Corporation

ION Geophysical Corporation is a technology-focused company. It provides geophysical technology, services and solutions to the global oil and gas industry. Its offerings are designed to enable oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies to obtain images of the Earth’s subsurface. It offers services and products through three segments: E&P Technology & Services, E&P Operations Optimization, and Ocean Bottom Services. E&P Technology & Services provides services and products for complex and hard-to-image geologies, such as deepwater subsalt formations in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore East and West Africa and Brazil; unconventional reservoirs, such as those found onshore in shale, tight gas and oil sands formations, and offshore basin-wide seismic data and imaging programs. E&P Operations Optimization combines its Optimization Software and Services and Devices offerings. Ocean Bottom Services consists of OceanGeo, an ocean bottom data acquisition services company.

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