MDU Resources Group (NYSE: MDU) and Fairmount Santrol (NYSE:FMSA) are both utilities companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation and institutional ownership.
Earnings and Valuation
This table compares MDU Resources Group and Fairmount Santrol’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|MDU Resources Group||$4.44 billion||1.26||$281.20 million||$1.25||22.88|
|Fairmount Santrol||$959.79 million||1.32||$53.78 million||$0.24||23.46|
Institutional and Insider Ownership
64.3% of MDU Resources Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.5% of Fairmount Santrol shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of MDU Resources Group shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 9.8% of Fairmount Santrol shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.
This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for MDU Resources Group and Fairmount Santrol, as provided by MarketBeat.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|MDU Resources Group||0||0||2||0||3.00|
MDU Resources Group currently has a consensus price target of $28.75, suggesting a potential upside of 0.52%. Fairmount Santrol has a consensus price target of $5.88, suggesting a potential upside of 4.52%. Given Fairmount Santrol’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Fairmount Santrol is more favorable than MDU Resources Group.
MDU Resources Group pays an annual dividend of $0.79 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Fairmount Santrol does not pay a dividend. MDU Resources Group pays out 63.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. MDU Resources Group has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive years.
Risk & Volatility
MDU Resources Group has a beta of 0.68, suggesting that its stock price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Fairmount Santrol has a beta of 2.13, suggesting that its stock price is 113% more volatile than the S&P 500.
This table compares MDU Resources Group and Fairmount Santrol’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|MDU Resources Group||6.39%||10.59%||3.99%|
Fairmount Santrol beats MDU Resources Group on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.
About MDU Resources Group
MDU Resources Group, Inc. engages in regulated energy delivery, and construction materials and services businesses in the United States. The company operates through five segments: Electric, Natural Gas Distribution, Pipeline and Midstream, Construction Materials and Contracting, and Construction Services. The Electric segment generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. As of December 31, 2017, it served 142,901 residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in 178 communities and adjacent rural areas. The Natural Gas Distribution segment distributes natural gas in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, as well as Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington; and offers related value-added services. It served approximately 938,867 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in 335 communities and adjacent rural areas. The Pipeline and Midstream segment provides natural gas transportation, underground storage, and gathering services primarily in the Rocky Mountain and northern Great Plains regions. It also provides cathodic protection and other energy-related services. The Construction Materials and Contracting segment mines, processes, and sells construction aggregates; produces and sells asphalt mix; and supplies ready-mixed concrete in the central, southern, and western United States, as well as Alaska and Hawaii. The Construction Services segment designs, constructs, and maintains overhead and underground electrical distribution and transmission lines, substations, external lighting, traffic signalization, and gas pipelines; electrical and communication wiring and infrastructure, and fire suppression systems; and renewable energy projects. It also offers utility excavation, and mechanical piping and services; and manufactures and distributes transmission line construction equipment and other supplies. The company was founded in 1924 and is based in Bismarck, North Dakota.
About Fairmount Santrol
Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides sand-based proppant solutions for exploration and production companies. The company operates in two segments, Proppant Solutions and Industrial & Recreational Products. The Proppant Solutions segment primarily provides sand-based proppants for use in hydraulic fracturing operations in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, China, and northern Europe. Its products include northern white frac sand, API-spec brown sand, and coated sand products; and Propel SSP product that utilizes a polymer coating applied to a proppant substrate. The Industrial & Recreational Products segment offers raw, coated, and custom blended sands for use in building products, foundry, glass, turf and landscape, and filtration industries primarily in North America. Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc. also supplies proppants to oilfield service companies. The company was formerly known as FMSA Holdings Inc. and changed its name to Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc. in July 2015. Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc. was incorporated in 1986 and is headquartered in Chesterland, Ohio.
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