Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG) and Comstock Resources (NYSE:CRK) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation and Comstock Resources, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation 0 8 11 0 2.58
Comstock Resources 1 3 3 0 2.29

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $29.06, indicating a potential upside of 9.33%. Comstock Resources has a consensus target price of $12.42, indicating a potential upside of 125.76%. Given Comstock Resources’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Comstock Resources is more favorable than Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

96.3% of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 53.6% of Comstock Resources shares are held by institutional investors. 1.6% of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.6% of Comstock Resources shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation has a beta of 0.46, indicating that its stock price is 54% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Comstock Resources has a beta of -0.48, indicating that its stock price is 148% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Comstock Resources does not pay a dividend. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation pays out -54.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation and Comstock Resources’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation $1.59 billion 7.73 $881.72 million ($0.37) -71.84
Comstock Resources $209.44 million 0.41 $166.92 million ($9.86) -0.56

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Comstock Resources. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Comstock Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation and Comstock Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation -10.95% 4.68% 2.39%
Comstock Resources -59.68% N/A -12.70%

Summary

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation beats Comstock Resources on 14 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation

Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation is an independent oil and gas company engaged in the development, exploitation and exploration of oil and gas properties. The Company operates in the segment of natural gas and oil development, exploitation, exploration and production, in the continental United States. Its assets are concentrated in areas with known hydrocarbon resources, which are conducive to multi-well, repeatable drilling programs. As of December 31, 2016, its exploration, development and production operations were primarily concentrated in two unconventional plays: the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania and the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas. The Company also has operations in various other unconventional and conventional plays throughout the continental United States. Its Marcellus Shale properties are principally located in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Its properties in the Eagle Ford Shale are principally located in Atascosa, Frio and La Salle Counties, Texas.

About Comstock Resources

Comstock Resources, Inc. is an energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in the United States. The Company operates in the segment of exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The Company’s oil and gas operations are concentrated in Texas and Louisiana. Its operations are focused in two operating areas: East Texas/North Louisiana and South Texas. The Company’s properties in the East Texas/North Louisiana region include approximately 80,660 acres in the Haynesville or Bossier shale formations. The Company’s Eagleville field includes approximately 30,220 acres located in the oil window of the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas. The Company owns interests in over 1,575 producing oil and natural gas wells, and operates over 950 of these wells. The Company owns interests in over 20 wells in the Rosita field, located in Duval County, Texas.

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