Enerplus (NYSE: ERF) and EQT GP (NYSE:EQGP) are both mid-cap energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, valuation and earnings.

Dividends

Enerplus pays an annual dividend of $0.09 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. EQT GP pays an annual dividend of $0.91 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Enerplus pays out 2.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. EQT GP pays out 96.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Enerplus and EQT GP’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Enerplus $545.68 million 4.07 $300.12 million $3.26 2.81
EQT GP $735.61 million 9.43 $234.17 million $0.94 27.72

Enerplus has higher earnings, but lower revenue than EQT GP. Enerplus is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than EQT GP, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Enerplus and EQT GP’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Enerplus 121.44% 14.21% 8.42%
EQT GP 30.98% 12.14% 7.78%

Risk and Volatility

Enerplus has a beta of 1.36, indicating that its stock price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, EQT GP has a beta of 1.19, indicating that its stock price is 19% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

49.7% of Enerplus shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 10.2% of EQT GP shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Enerplus and EQT GP, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Enerplus 0 0 5 0 3.00
EQT GP 0 3 5 0 2.63

Enerplus presently has a consensus price target of $15.00, indicating a potential upside of 63.58%. EQT GP has a consensus price target of $32.86, indicating a potential upside of 26.08%. Given Enerplus’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Enerplus is more favorable than EQT GP.

Summary

Enerplus beats EQT GP on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Enerplus Company Profile

Enerplus Corporation is an oil and natural gas company. The Company’s oil and natural gas property interests are located in the United States, primarily in North Dakota, Montana, and Pennsylvania, as well as in western Canada in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The Company’s oil and natural gas property interests contains proved plus probable gross reserves of approximately 14.3 million barrels (MMbbls) of light and medium crude oil, 39.0 MMbbls of heavy crude oil, 123 MMbbls of tight oil, 18.1 MMbbls of natural gas liquids (NGLs), 126.3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of conventional natural gas and 1,002.8 Bcf of shale gas, for a total of approximately 382.5 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE). The Company’s primary crude oil properties in the United States are located in the Fort Berthold region of North Dakota and in Richland County, Montana.

EQT GP Company Profile

EQT GP Holdings, LP (EQGP) is a limited partnership company and subsidiary of EQT Gathering Holdings, LLC (EQT Gathering Holdings). The Company was formed to own EQT Corporation’s (EQT’s) partnership interests in EQT Midstream Partners, LP (EQM), a limited partnership formed by EQT to own, operate, acquire and develop midstream assets in the Appalachian Basin. Its segments include Gathering, and Transmission. The Gathering segment primarily includes high pressure gathering lines and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-regulated low pressure gathering system. The Transmission segment includes EQM’s FERC-regulated interstate pipeline and storage business. EQGP has no independent operations. It has partnership interests in EQM. As of December 31, 2016, EQM provided midstream services to EQT and various third parties across 24 counties in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio through its two primary assets: the gathering system, and the transmission and storage system.

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