Helix Energy Solutions Group (NYSE: BAS) and Basic Energy Services (NYSE:BAS) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, risk and profitability.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

89.5% of Helix Energy Solutions Group shares are held by institutional investors. 5.9% of Helix Energy Solutions Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Basic Energy Services shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Helix Energy Solutions Group and Basic Energy Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Helix Energy Solutions Group $581.38 million 2.30 $30.05 million ($0.15) -60.07
Basic Energy Services $864.04 million 0.28 -$96.67 million ($2.33) -3.88

Helix Energy Solutions Group has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Basic Energy Services. Helix Energy Solutions Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Basic Energy Services, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Helix Energy Solutions Group and Basic Energy Services, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Helix Energy Solutions Group 1 0 5 0 2.67
Basic Energy Services 0 3 2 0 2.40

Helix Energy Solutions Group presently has a consensus price target of $9.00, suggesting a potential downside of 0.11%. Basic Energy Services has a consensus price target of $24.74, suggesting a potential upside of 173.72%. Given Basic Energy Services’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Basic Energy Services is more favorable than Helix Energy Solutions Group.

Volatility and Risk

Helix Energy Solutions Group has a beta of 2.56, indicating that its stock price is 156% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Basic Energy Services has a beta of 2.77, indicating that its stock price is 177% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Helix Energy Solutions Group and Basic Energy Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Helix Energy Solutions Group 9.79% 1.05% 0.70%
Basic Energy Services -10.94% -20.44% -8.00%

Summary

Helix Energy Solutions Group beats Basic Energy Services on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Helix Energy Solutions Group Company Profile

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc., an offshore energy services company, provides specialty services to the offshore energy industry primarily in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, the Asia Pacific, and West Africa regions. The company operates through three segments: Well Intervention, Robotics, and Production Facilities. The company engineers, manages, and conducts well construction, intervention, and abandonment operations in water depths ranging from 200 to 10,000 feet; and operates remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), trenchers, and ROVDrills for offshore construction and well intervention services. It also offers well intervention; intervention engineering; production enhancement; inspection, repair, and maintenance of production structures, trees, jumpers, risers, pipelines, and subsea equipment; and life of field support services. In addition, the company provides reclamation and remediation services; well plugging and abandonment services; pipeline abandonment services; and site inspections. Further, it engages in the installation of flowlines, control umbilicals, and manifold assemblies and risers; trenching and burial of pipelines; installation and tie-in of riser and manifold assembly; commissioning, testing, and inspection activities; and provision of cable and umbilical lay, and connection services. Additionally, the company offers oil and natural gas processing facilities and services to oil and gas companies; and fast response system services. It serves independent oil and gas producers and suppliers, pipeline transmission companies, alternative energy companies, and offshore engineering and construction firms. The company was formerly known as Cal Dive International, Inc. and changed its name to Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. in March 2006. Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. was incorporated in 1979 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Basic Energy Services Company Profile

Basic Energy Services, Inc. provides well site services to oil and natural gas drilling and producing companies in the United States. Its Completion and Remedial Services segment offers pumping services, such as cementing, acidizing, fracturing, nitrogen, and pressure testing; rental and fishing tools; coiled tubing; snubbing services; thru-tubing; cased-hole wireline services; and underbalanced drilling in low pressure and fluid sensitive reservoirs. This segment operates 310 pumping units; and 36 air compressor packages. The company's Fluid Services segment is involved in the transportation of fluids; production of salt water; sale and transportation of fresh and brine water; rental of portable fracturing and test tanks; recycling and treatment of wastewater; operation of fresh water and brine source wells, and non-hazardous wastewater disposal wells; and preparation, construction, and maintenance of access roads, drilling locations, and production facilities. As of December 31, 2017, this segment owned and operated 975 fluid service trucks with an average fluid hauling capacity of up to 150 barrels apiece; and owned 85 salt water disposal facilities. Its Well Servicing segment provides services performed with a mobile well servicing rig and ancillary equipment, such as maintenance work, hoisting tools and equipment required by the operation, and plugging and abandonment services, as well as manufactures and sells workover rigs. As of December 31, 2017, this segment operated a fleet of 310 well servicing rigs. Its Contract Drilling segment employs drilling rigs and related equipment to penetrate the earth to a desired depth and initiate production. This segment owns and operates 11 land drilling rigs. The company was formerly known as Sierra Well Service, Inc. and changed its name to Basic Energy Services, Inc. in 2000. Basic Energy Services, Inc. was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

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