Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT) and Atlantic Power Corporation (NYSE:AT) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability and earnings.

Volatility & Risk

Alliant Energy Corporation has a beta of 0.43, indicating that its stock price is 57% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Atlantic Power Corporation has a beta of 1.69, indicating that its stock price is 69% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

66.5% of Alliant Energy Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.8% of Atlantic Power Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.3% of Alliant Energy Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Atlantic Power Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Alliant Energy Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.26 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Atlantic Power Corporation does not pay a dividend. Alliant Energy Corporation pays out 74.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Alliant Energy Corporation has increased its dividend for 11 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Alliant Energy Corporation and Atlantic Power Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alliant Energy Corporation 11.85% 11.43% 3.34%
Atlantic Power Corporation -25.71% 27.03% 1.21%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Alliant Energy Corporation and Atlantic Power Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alliant Energy Corporation 0 4 0 0 2.00
Atlantic Power Corporation 0 3 0 0 2.00

Alliant Energy Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $41.00, indicating a potential downside of 1.44%. Atlantic Power Corporation has a consensus price target of $2.60, indicating a potential upside of 4.00%. Given Atlantic Power Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Atlantic Power Corporation is more favorable than Alliant Energy Corporation.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Alliant Energy Corporation and Atlantic Power Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alliant Energy Corporation $3.34 billion 2.88 $1.07 billion $1.70 24.47
Atlantic Power Corporation $417.00 million 0.69 $179.50 million ($0.96) -2.60

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

Summary

Alliant Energy Corporation beats Atlantic Power Corporation on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Alliant Energy Corporation

Alliant Energy Corporation operates as a regulated investor-owned public utility holding company. The Company’s segments include Utility and Non-regulated, Parent and Other. The Utility segment includes the operations of Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), which serve retail customers in Iowa and Wisconsin. The Utility segment includes utility electric operations, utility gas operations and utility other, which includes steam operations and the unallocated portions of the utility business. Its Non-regulated, Parent and Other segment includes the operations of Alliant Energy Resources, LLC and its subsidiaries; Alliant Energy Corporate Services, Inc. (Corporate Services); the Alliant Energy parent company, and any Alliant Energy parent company consolidating adjustments. IPL and WPL own a portfolio of electric generating units located in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with a fuel mix, including coal, natural gas and renewable resources.

About Atlantic Power Corporation

Atlantic Power Corporation (Atlantic Power) owns and operates a fleet of power generation assets in the United States and Canada. The Company’s power generation projects sell electricity to utilities and other commercial customers. Atlantic Power’s segments include East U.S., West U.S. and Canada. The Company’s East U.S. segment comprises natural gas, biomass, coal and hydro projects. The Company’s projects under the West U.S. segment include Naval Station, Naval Training Center, North Island, Oxnard, Manchief and Frederickson, which are focused on natural gas, and Koma Kulshan, which is focused on hydro. Under the Canada segment, the Company’s projects located in British Columbia include Mamquam, Mamquam and Williams Lake. Its Calstock and Tunis projects are located in Ontario. The Company’s portfolio consisted of interests in 19 operational power generation projects across nine states in the United States and two provinces in Canada, as of December 31, 2016.

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