North American Energy Partners (NYSE: NOA) and Select Energy Services (NASDAQ:WTTR) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for North American Energy Partners and Select Energy Services, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
North American Energy Partners 0 0 3 0 3.00
Select Energy Services 0 1 6 0 2.86

North American Energy Partners currently has a consensus price target of $9.00, suggesting a potential upside of 111.76%. Select Energy Services has a consensus price target of $19.29, suggesting a potential upside of 23.00%. Given North American Energy Partners’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe North American Energy Partners is more favorable than Select Energy Services.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares North American Energy Partners and Select Energy Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
North American Energy Partners $197.83 million 0.58 $40.36 million $0.01 425.00
Select Energy Services $395.02 million 1.20 $45.45 million N/A N/A

Select Energy Services has higher revenue and earnings than North American Energy Partners.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

39.5% of North American Energy Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 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.

Dividends

North American Energy Partners pays an annual dividend of $0.06 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Select Energy Services does not pay a dividend. North American Energy Partners pays out 600.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. North American Energy Partners has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares North American Energy Partners and Select Energy Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
North American Energy Partners 0.62% 0.97% 0.43%
Select Energy Services -7.80% -11.02% -8.68%

Summary

North American Energy Partners beats Select Energy Services on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About North American Energy Partners

North American Energy Partners Inc. provides a range of mining and heavy construction services to customers in the resource development and industrial construction sectors within Western Canada. The Company’s operating divisions include Heavy Construction and Mining; Industrial, and Tailings & Environmental Construction. Its Heavy Construction and Mining division is engaged in hard rock and oil sands mining, overburden removal, mine site development and mine reclamation. Its Industrial division offers services, which include site development, installation of underground utilities and piping, concrete foundations, facilities and infrastructure construction, and design/build services. The Tailings & Environmental Construction division performs a range of tailings, reclamation and environmental construction services, including oil sands tailings remediation; management of mine tailings; tailings dam and dyke construction, pipeline co-corridor construction, and tailings pipelines.

About Select Energy Services

Select Energy Services, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is provider of total water solutions to the United States unconventional oil and gas industry. The Company is engaged in sourcing and transfer of water prior to its use in drilling and completion activities associated with hydraulic fracturing or fracking, which collectively referrd to as pre-frac water services. The Company provides its services to integrated and exploration and production (E&P) companies. Its operating segments include water solutions, accommodation and rentals, and wellsite completion and constructive services. The Company’s services include water sourcing, water transfer, water treatment, fluid handling, disposal solutions, accommodations, rentals, and wellsite construction. The Company also provides complementary water-related services that support oil and gas well completion and production activities including containment, monitoring, treatment, flowback, hauling and disposal.

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