Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN) and Vaalco Energy (NYSE:EGY) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, earnings and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Southwestern Energy and Vaalco Energy, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southwestern Energy 2 14 7 0 2.22
Vaalco Energy 0 1 0 0 2.00

Southwestern Energy currently has a consensus price target of $11.68, indicating a potential upside of 90.92%. Vaalco Energy has a consensus price target of $2.00, indicating a potential upside of 166.67%. Given Vaalco Energy’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Vaalco Energy is more favorable than Southwestern Energy.

Volatility and Risk

Southwestern Energy has a beta of 1.16, meaning that its stock price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vaalco Energy has a beta of 0.33, meaning that its stock price is 67% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Southwestern Energy and Vaalco Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southwestern Energy -9.46% 25.19% 4.35%
Vaalco Energy -17.72% 107.37% 4.67%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Southwestern Energy and Vaalco Energy’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southwestern Energy $2.99 billion 1.02 $1.09 billion ($0.98) -6.24
Vaalco Energy $71.65 million 0.62 $26.42 million ($0.22) -3.41

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

89.6% of Southwestern Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 40.0% of Vaalco Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 1.2% of Southwestern Energy shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.6% of Vaalco Energy shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Southwestern Energy beats Vaalco Energy on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Southwestern Energy

Southwestern Energy Company is an energy company engaged in natural gas and oil exploration, development and production. The Company operates through two segments: Exploration and Production (E&P) and Midstream Services. Its operations in northeast Pennsylvania are primarily focused on the unconventional natural gas reservoir known as the Marcellus Shale. Through its affiliated midstream subsidiaries, it is engaged in natural gas gathering activities in Arkansas and Louisiana. Its operations are principally focused on the development of unconventional natural gas reservoirs located in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Arkansas. As of December 31, 2016, its estimated proved natural gas and oil reserves were 5,253 billions of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe). During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, it gathered approximately 600 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale area, including 42 Bcf of natural gas from third-party operated wells.

About Vaalco Energy

VAALCO Energy, Inc. is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas. Its segments include Gabon, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, the United States, and Corporate and other, which includes corporate and operations support. It owns producing properties and conducts exploration activities as an operator in Gabon, West Africa; conducts exploration activities as an operator in Angola, West Africa, and participates in exploration and development activities as a non-operator in Equatorial Guinea, West Africa. In the United States, it operates unconventional resource properties in North Texas and hold undeveloped leasehold acreage in Montana. It also owns minor interests in conventional production activities as a non-operator in the United States. Its Etame Marin block is located offshore the Republic of Gabon. It owns over 640-acre lease in the Hefley field (Granite Wash formation) in North Texas.

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