Range Resources Corporation (NYSE: RRC) and Laredo Petroleum (NYSE:LPI) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends, risk and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Range Resources Corporation and Laredo Petroleum, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Range Resources Corporation 2 4 18 0 2.67
Laredo Petroleum 2 8 8 0 2.33

Range Resources Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $36.40, suggesting a potential upside of 78.37%. Laredo Petroleum has a consensus price target of $14.70, suggesting a potential upside of 10.67%. Given Range Resources Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Range Resources Corporation is more favorable than Laredo Petroleum.

Volatility and Risk

Range Resources Corporation has a beta of 0.94, suggesting that its stock price is 6% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Laredo Petroleum has a beta of 1.44, suggesting that its stock price is 44% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

95.6% of Range Resources Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 2.4% of Range Resources Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.4% of Laredo Petroleum shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Range Resources Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Laredo Petroleum does not pay a dividend. Range Resources Corporation pays out 100.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Profitability

This table compares Range Resources Corporation and Laredo Petroleum’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Range Resources Corporation 1.75% 0.67% 0.32%
Laredo Petroleum 16.73% 49.15% 6.36%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Range Resources Corporation and Laredo Petroleum’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Range Resources Corporation $2.03 billion 2.45 $914.36 million $0.08 255.16
Laredo Petroleum $720.06 million 4.41 $195.80 million $0.49 27.10

Range Resources Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Laredo Petroleum. Laredo Petroleum is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Range Resources Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Range Resources Corporation beats Laredo Petroleum on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Range Resources Corporation Company Profile

Range Resources Corporation is an independent natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and oil company. The Company is engaged in the exploration and production of natural gas, NGLs and oil in the United States. It is engaged in the exploration, development and acquisition of natural gas and crude oil properties located primarily in the Appalachian and North Louisiana regions of the United States. Its principal areas of operation are the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania and the Lower Cotton Valley formation of North Louisiana. Its properties consist of interests in developed and undeveloped natural gas and oil leases. Its properties in the Appalachian region are located in the Appalachian Basin in the northeastern United States, predominantly in Pennsylvania. The Company’s other operations include drilling, production and field operations in the Texas Panhandle, as well as in the Anadarko Basin of Western Oklahoma and the Nemaha Uplift of Northern Oklahoma and Kansas.

Laredo Petroleum Company Profile

Laredo Petroleum, Inc. (Laredo) is an independent energy company. The Company is focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of oil and natural gas properties, and the transportation of oil and natural gas from such properties primarily in the Permian Basin in West Texas. It operates through two segments: Exploration and production of oil and natural gas properties, and Midstream and marketing. The exploration and production of oil and natural gas properties are conducted by it through the exploration and development of its acreage in the Permian Basin. As of December 31, 2016, it had assembled 127,847 net acres in the Permian Basin and had total proved reserves, presented on a three-stream basis, of 167,100 thousand of barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE). The Midstream and marketing segment’s operations are conducted by its subsidiary, Laredo Midstream Services, LLC, which buys, sells, gathers and transports oil, natural gas and water primarily for the account of Laredo.

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