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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

47.7% of Atlantic Power shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 83.1% of Entergy shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.6% of Atlantic Power shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of Entergy shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Atlantic Power and Entergy, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Atlantic Power 0 2 0 0 2.00
Entergy 0 7 6 0 2.46

Atlantic Power presently has a consensus target price of $2.48, suggesting a potential upside of 7.61%. Entergy has a consensus target price of $84.54, suggesting a potential upside of 8.86%. Given Entergy’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Entergy is more favorable than Atlantic Power.

Risk & Volatility

Atlantic Power has a beta of 1.73, suggesting that its share price is 73% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Entergy has a beta of 0.55, suggesting that its share price is 45% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Entergy pays an annual dividend of $3.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.6%. Atlantic Power does not pay a dividend. Entergy pays out -72.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Atlantic Power has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Atlantic Power and Entergy’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Atlantic Power $399.20 million 0.66 -$113.90 million ($0.56) -4.11
Entergy $10.85 billion 1.29 -$564.50 million ($4.94) -15.72

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Atlantic Power -14.09% 34.66% 1.25%
Entergy -7.82% 14.76% 2.67%

Summary

Entergy beats Atlantic Power on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Atlantic Power

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.

About Entergy

Entergy Corporation is a holding company. The Company is an integrated energy company engaged in electric power production and retail electric distribution operations. The Company operates through two business segments: Utility and Entergy Wholesale Commodities. The Utility segment includes the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electric power to retail and wholesale customers in areas of Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana, including the City of New Orleans and operates a natural gas distribution business. The Entergy Wholesale Commodities segment includes the ownership, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants located in the northern United States and the sale of the electric power produced by its operating plants to wholesale customers. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and operated power plants with over 30,000 megawatts of aggregate electric generating capacity, including approximately 10,000 megawatts of nuclear-fueled capacity.

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