Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) and Great Plains Energy (NYSE:GXP) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Portland General Electric and Great Plains Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Portland General Electric 10.21% 8.65% 2.70%
Great Plains Energy 3.42% 5.41% 1.83%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Portland General Electric and Great Plains Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Portland General Electric 3 3 0 0 1.50
Great Plains Energy 0 3 4 0 2.57

Portland General Electric currently has a consensus price target of $44.50, indicating a potential downside of 4.16%. Great Plains Energy has a consensus price target of $32.20, indicating a potential downside of 0.53%. Given Great Plains Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Great Plains Energy is more favorable than Portland General Electric.

Dividends

Portland General Electric pays an annual dividend of $1.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Great Plains Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. Portland General Electric pays out 59.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Great Plains Energy pays out 550.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Portland General Electric has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years and Great Plains Energy has increased its dividend for 11 consecutive years. Great Plains Energy is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

92.6% of Portland General Electric shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.1% of Great Plains Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Portland General Electric shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Great Plains Energy shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Portland General Electric and Great Plains Energy’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Portland General Electric $1.92 billion 2.15 $193.00 million $2.30 20.19
Great Plains Energy $2.68 billion 2.61 $290.00 million $0.20 161.86

Great Plains Energy has higher revenue and earnings than Portland General Electric. Portland General Electric is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Great Plains Energy, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Portland General Electric has a beta of 0.3, meaning that its share price is 70% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Great Plains Energy has a beta of 0.46, meaning that its share price is 54% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Great Plains Energy beats Portland General Electric on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Portland General Electric Company Profile

Portland General Electric Company is an electric utility that is engaged in the wholesale purchase, transmission, distribution and retail sale of electricity in the State of Oregon. Its service area allocation of approximately 4,000 square miles is located entirely within Oregon and includes approximately 51 incorporated cities, of which Portland and Salem. It has five natural gas-fired generating facilities, which include Port Westward Unit 1 (PW1), Port Westward Unit 2 (PW2), Beaver natural gas-fired generating plant (Beaver), Coyote Springs Unit 1 (Coyote Springs) and Carty natural gas-fired generating plant (Carty). As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and operated two wind farms, Biglow Canyon Wind Farm (Biglow Canyon) and Tucannon River Wind Farm (Tucannon River). The Company’s hydroelectric projects consist of Pelton/Round Butte on the Deschutes River near Madras, Oregon, four plants on the Clackamas River, and one on the Willamette River.

Great Plains Energy Company Profile

Great Plains Energy Incorporated (Great Plains Energy) is a utility holding company. The Company operates through electric utility segment. The Company’s subsidiaries with operations include Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO). KCP&L is an integrated, regulated electric utility that provides electricity to customers primarily in the states of Missouri and Kansas. Kansas City Power & Light Receivables Company (KCP&L Receivables Company) is the KCP&L’s subsidiary. GMO is an integrated, regulated electric utility that provides electricity to customers in the state of Missouri. GMO also provides regulated steam service to certain customers in the St. Joseph, Missouri area. GMO’s subsidiaries include GMO Receivables Company and MPS Merchant Services, Inc. (MPS Merchant). As of December 31, 2016, electric utility had approximately 6,500 megawatts (MWs) of owned generating capacity.

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