National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) and Tetra Technologies (NYSE:TTI) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, profitability and valuation.

Risk and Volatility

National Oilwell Varco has a beta of 1, suggesting that its share price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.Comparatively, Tetra Technologies has a beta of 0.68, suggesting that its share price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

91.6% of National Oilwell Varco shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.3% of Tetra Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of National Oilwell Varco shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.6% of Tetra Technologies shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


National Oilwell Varco pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Tetra Technologies does not pay a dividend. National Oilwell Varco pays out -3.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares National Oilwell Varco and Tetra Technologies’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
National Oilwell Varco $6.84 billion 1.70 -$440.00 million ($6.04) -5.05
Tetra Technologies $726.15 million 0.31 $84.62 million ($0.61) -3.15

Tetra Technologies has higher revenue, but lower earnings than National Oilwell Varco. National Oilwell Varco is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Tetra Technologies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for National Oilwell Varco and Tetra Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National Oilwell Varco 3 14 6 0 2.13
Tetra Technologies 0 3 9 0 2.75

National Oilwell Varco currently has a consensus target price of $38.63, indicating a potential upside of 26.58%. Tetra Technologies has a consensus target price of $5.39, indicating a potential upside of 180.88%. Given Tetra Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Tetra Technologies is more favorable than National Oilwell Varco.


This table compares National Oilwell Varco and Tetra Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National Oilwell Varco -33.24% -2.12% -1.41%
Tetra Technologies -8.27% -9.56% -2.76%


Tetra Technologies beats National Oilwell Varco on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About National Oilwell Varco

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. is an oilfield equipment manufacturer and technology provider. The Company operates through four segments: Rig Systems, Rig Aftermarket, Wellbore Technologies and Completion & Production Solutions. The Rig Systems segment makes and supports the capital equipment and integrated systems needed to drill oil and gas wells on land and offshore. The Rig Systems segment designs, manufactures and sells land rigs, offshore drilling equipment packages, and drilling rig components. The Rig Aftermarket segment provides aftermarket products and services to support a large installed base of land and offshore rigs, and drilling rig components manufactured by the Company’s Rig Systems segment. The Wellbore Technologies segment designs, manufactures, rents and sells a range of equipment and technologies used to perform drilling operations. The Completion & Production Solutions segment integrates technologies for well completions and oil and gas production.

About Tetra Technologies

TETRA Technologies, Inc. is an oil and gas services company. The Company focuses on completion fluids and associated products and services, water management, production well testing, offshore rig cooling, compression services and equipment, and offshore services, such as decommissioning and diving. It is composed of five segments organized into four divisions: Fluids, Production Testing, Compression and Offshore. The Fluids division manufactures and markets clear brine fluids, additives and associated products and services to the oil and gas industry. Its Production Testing division provides frac flowback services, production well testing services, offshore rig cooling and other associated services in various oil and gas producing regions. The Compression division provides compression services and equipment for natural gas and oil production, gathering, transportation, processing and storage. The Offshore division consists of two operating segments: Offshore Services and Maritech.

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