ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Viper Energy Partners (NASDAQ:VNOM) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings and institutional ownership.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

68.9% of ConocoPhillips shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 15.6% of Viper Energy Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.8% of ConocoPhillips shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares ConocoPhillips and Viper Energy Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
ConocoPhillips -12.29% -2.86% -1.13%
Viper Energy Partners 58.60% 11.19% 10.11%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for ConocoPhillips and Viper Energy Partners, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ConocoPhillips 1 7 13 1 2.64
Viper Energy Partners 0 0 10 1 3.09

ConocoPhillips currently has a consensus price target of $54.25, suggesting a potential upside of 8.39%. Viper Energy Partners has a consensus price target of $20.64, suggesting a potential upside of 10.71%. Given Viper Energy Partners’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Viper Energy Partners is more favorable than ConocoPhillips.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares ConocoPhillips and Viper Energy Partners’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
ConocoPhillips $28.02 billion 2.17 $7.50 billion ($3.03) -16.52
Viper Energy Partners $118.19 million 17.96 $104.04 million $0.76 24.53

ConocoPhillips has higher revenue and earnings than Viper Energy Partners. ConocoPhillips is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Viper Energy Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

ConocoPhillips pays an annual dividend of $1.06 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Viper Energy Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.33 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.1%. ConocoPhillips pays out -35.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Viper Energy Partners pays out 175.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Volatility and Risk

ConocoPhillips has a beta of 1.21, indicating that its share price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Viper Energy Partners has a beta of 0.96, indicating that its share price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Viper Energy Partners beats ConocoPhillips on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips is an independent exploration and production company. The Company explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and natural gas liquids. The Company operates through five segments: Alaska, Lower 48, Canada, Europe and North Africa, Asia Pacific and Middle East, and Other International. The Alaska segment explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, natural gas liquids, natural gas and LNG. The Lower 48 segment consists of operations located in the United States Lower 48 states and the Gulf of Mexico. Its Canadian operations consists of oil sands developments in the Athabasca Region of northeastern Alberta. The Europe and North Africa segment consists of operations and exploration activities in Norway, the United Kingdom and Libya. The Asia Pacific and Middle East segment has exploration and production operations in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia.

About Viper Energy Partners

Viper Energy Partners LP is engaged in owning, acquiring and exploiting oil and natural gas properties in North America. The Company’s assets are located in the Permian Basin of West Texas. As of December 31, 2016, the Permian Basin consisted of approximately 85,000 square miles. As of December 31, 2016, its assets consisted of mineral interests underlying 107,568 gross acres in the Permian Basin. As of December 31, 2016, there were 545 vertical wells and 190 horizontal wells producing on this acreage. As of December 31, 2016, its estimated proved oil and natural gas reserves of its assets was 31,435 thousand barrels of crude oil equivalent (MBOE). As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s proved reserves were approximately 68% oil, 18% natural gas liquids and 14% natural gas. In addition to its mineral interests, the Company owns a minor equity interest in an entity that owns mineral, overriding royalty, net profits, leasehold and other similar interests.

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