Empire District Electric (NYSE: EDE) is one of 22 publicly-traded companies in the “Multiline Utilities” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its competitors? We will compare Empire District Electric to similar companies based on the strength of its institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability and earnings.

Dividends

Empire District Electric pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Empire District Electric pays out 75.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Multiline Utilities” companies pay a dividend yield of 3.1% and pay out 71.1% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Empire District Electric lags its competitors as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares Empire District Electric and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Empire District Electric 15.69% 13.50% 4.46%
Empire District Electric Competitors 8.42% 8.94% 2.33%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Empire District Electric and its competitors gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Empire District Electric N/A N/A 24.70
Empire District Electric Competitors $7.70 billion $2.04 billion 20.60

Empire District Electric’s competitors have higher revenue and earnings than Empire District Electric. Empire District Electric is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Volatility & Risk

Empire District Electric has a beta of 0.11, indicating that its stock price is 89% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Empire District Electric’s competitors have a beta of 0.60, indicating that their average stock price is 40% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Empire District Electric and its competitors, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Empire District Electric 2 1 0 0 1.33
Empire District Electric Competitors 317 957 819 6 2.24

Empire District Electric presently has a consensus target price of $18.33, suggesting a potential downside of 46.22%. As a group, “Multiline Utilities” companies have a potential upside of 11.13%. Given Empire District Electric’s competitors stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Empire District Electric has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

65.9% of Empire District Electric shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.2% of shares of all “Multiline Utilities” companies are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Empire District Electric shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 3.1% of shares of all “Multiline Utilities” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Empire District Electric competitors beat Empire District Electric on 10 of the 13 factors compared.

Empire District Electric Company Profile

The Empire District Electric Company is a regulated utility company. The Company is engaged in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity. It provides services with in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The Company operates its businesses in three segments: electric, gas and other. As part of its electric segment, the Company provides water service to over three towns in Missouri. The Company through its subsidiary, The Empire District Gas Company (EDG), is engaged in the distribution of natural gas in Missouri. The Company’s other segment consists of fiber optics business. It supplies electric service at retail to approximately 120 incorporated communities and to various unincorporated areas, and at wholesale to over four municipally owned distribution systems. Its gas operations serve customers in northwest, north central and west central Missouri. It serves a group of customers, including residential, commercial and industrial customers.

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