Unitil (NYSE: UTL) and Great Plains Energy (NYSE:GXP) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and institutional ownership.
Institutional & Insider Ownership
62.5% of Unitil shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.1% of Great Plains Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.5% of Unitil shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Great Plains Energy shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.
This table compares Unitil and Great Plains Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|Great Plains Energy||-3.92%||5.25%||1.78%|
Unitil pays an annual dividend of $1.46 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Great Plains Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. Unitil pays out 26.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Great Plains Energy pays out -1,833.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Unitil has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years and Great Plains Energy has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Great Plains Energy is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.
This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Unitil and Great Plains Energy, as provided by MarketBeat.com.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|Great Plains Energy||0||2||5||0||2.71|
Unitil currently has a consensus price target of $48.67, indicating a potential upside of 11.16%. Great Plains Energy has a consensus price target of $31.20, indicating a potential upside of 3.52%. Given Unitil’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Unitil is more favorable than Great Plains Energy.
Valuation and Earnings
This table compares Unitil and Great Plains Energy’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|Unitil||$406.20 million||1.60||$29.00 million||$5.53||7.92|
|Great Plains Energy||$2.71 billion||2.40||-$106.20 million||($0.06)||-502.33|
Unitil has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Great Plains Energy. Great Plains Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Unitil, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.
Risk and Volatility
Unitil has a beta of 0.18, meaning that its stock price is 82% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Great Plains Energy has a beta of 0.43, meaning that its stock price is 57% less volatile than the S&P 500.
Great Plains Energy beats Unitil on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.
Unitil Company Profile
Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company. The Company’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire and the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts and the local distribution of natural gas in southeastern New Hampshire, portions of southern Maine to the Lewiston-Auburn area and in the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts. Its segments include utility gas operations, utility electric operations and non-regulated. Its operations include natural gas operations; natural gas distribution utility operations; gas transmission pipeline operations; electric distribution utility operations, and non-regulated and other non-utility operations. As of December 31, 2016, it was engaged in the distribution of electricity and natural gas to approximately 184,200 customers throughout its service territories in the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.
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.
Receive News & Ratings for Unitil Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Unitil and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.