Contrasting Comstock Resources (CRK) and PDC Energy (NASDAQ:PDCE)

Comstock Resources (NYSE: CRK) and PDC Energy (NASDAQ:PDCE) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

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This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Comstock Resources and PDC Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Comstock Resources 1 2 2 0 2.20
PDC Energy 0 5 13 0 2.72

Comstock Resources currently has a consensus target price of $10.00, indicating a potential upside of 31.06%. PDC Energy has a consensus target price of $67.00, indicating a potential upside of 25.73%. Given Comstock Resources’ higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Comstock Resources is more favorable than PDC Energy.

Risk & Volatility

Comstock Resources has a beta of 0.04, meaning that its stock price is 96% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, PDC Energy has a beta of 0.64, meaning that its stock price is 36% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Comstock Resources and PDC Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Comstock Resources -43.63% N/A -6.86%
PDC Energy -13.13% 1.17% 0.67%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Comstock Resources and PDC Energy’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Comstock Resources $255.33 million 0.48 -$111.40 million ($7.59) -1.01
PDC Energy $921.62 million 3.81 -$127.50 million ($1.95) -27.33

Comstock Resources has higher earnings, but lower revenue than PDC Energy. PDC Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Comstock Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

44.2% of Comstock Resources shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.6% of Comstock Resources shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of PDC Energy shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

PDC Energy beats Comstock Resources on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Comstock Resources Company Profile

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.

PDC Energy Company Profile

PDC Energy, Inc. is an independent exploration and production company. The Company produces, develops, acquires and explores for crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) with operations in the Wattenberg Field in Colorado and the Utica Shale in southeastern Ohio. The Company operates through two segments: Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, and Gas Marketing. The Company’s Oil and Gas Exploration and Production segment includes all of its crude oil and natural gas properties. The Company’s Gas Marketing segment purchases, aggregates and resells natural gas. The Company’s operations in the Wattenberg Field are focused on the horizontal Niobrara and Codell plays. Its Delaware Basin operations are focused in the Wolfcamp zones and its Ohio operations are focused in the Utica Shale play. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned an interest in approximately 2,900 productive gross wells.

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