Westar Energy (OTCMKTS: UUGRY) and United Utilities Group (OTCMKTS:UUGRY) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.
Institutional and Insider Ownership
75.1% of Westar Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.2% of United Utilities Group shares are held by institutional investors. 0.7% of Westar Energy shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.
Westar Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. United Utilities Group pays an annual dividend of $1.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.9%. Westar Energy pays out 70.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Westar Energy has increased its dividend for 12 consecutive years.
This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Westar Energy and United Utilities Group, as provided by MarketBeat.com.
|Sell Ratings||Hold Ratings||Buy Ratings||Strong Buy Ratings||Rating Score|
|United Utilities Group||0||4||1||0||2.20|
Westar Energy presently has a consensus price target of $56.00, indicating a potential upside of 3.70%. Given Westar Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Westar Energy is more favorable than United Utilities Group.
Risk & Volatility
Westar Energy has a beta of 0.33, suggesting that its share price is 67% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Utilities Group has a beta of 0.44, suggesting that its share price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500.
Earnings and Valuation
This table compares Westar Energy and United Utilities Group’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.
|Gross Revenue||Price/Sales Ratio||Net Income||Earnings Per Share||Price/Earnings Ratio|
|Westar Energy||$2.57 billion||2.99||$323.92 million||$2.27||23.79|
|United Utilities Group||$2.30 billion||2.79||$470.21 million||N/A||N/A|
United Utilities Group has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Westar Energy.
This table compares Westar Energy and United Utilities Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.
|Net Margins||Return on Equity||Return on Assets|
|United Utilities Group||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Westar Energy beats United Utilities Group on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.
About Westar Energy
Westar Energy, Inc., an electric utility company, generates, transmits, and distributes electricity in Kansas. It has 6,602 megawatts of electric generation capacity, which generates electricity through coal, nuclear fuels, natural gas/diesel, and renewable sources. The company also owns approximately 6,400 miles of transmission lines, 24,200 miles of overhead distribution lines, and 5,100 miles of underground distribution lines. It retails electricity to residential, commercial, and industrial customers, as well as for lighting public streets and highways; and engages in the electricity wholesale to electric cooperatives, municipalities, other electric utilities, and regional transmission organizations. The company provides its services in central and northeastern Kansas, including the cities of Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan, Salina, and Hutchinson, as well as in south-central and southeastern Kansas, such as the city of Wichita. It serves approximately 708,000 customers. Westar Energy, Inc. was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas.
About United Utilities Group
United Utilities Group PLC provides water and wastewater services in the United Kingdom. It is also involved in renewable energy generation, corporate trustee, financing, and property management activities; and the provision of consulting and project management services. The company operates 42,000 kilometers (km) of water pipes; 77,000 km of wastewater pipes; 568 wastewater treatment works; and 88 water treatment works. It serves 3 million households and 200,000 business customers. United Utilities Group PLC was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Warrington, the United Kingdom.
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