Alon USA Partners, (NYSE: ALDW) and CVR Refining, (NYSE:CVRR) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, profitability, valuation, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Alon USA Partners, pays an annual dividend of $1.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 13.3%. CVR Refining, does not pay a dividend. Alon USA Partners, pays out 197.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. CVR Refining, has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Alon USA Partners, and CVR Refining,’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alon USA Partners, $2.04 billion 0.32 $136.33 million $0.71 14.79
CVR Refining, $5.19 billion 0.20 $230.60 million $0.36 20.00

CVR Refining, has higher revenue and earnings than Alon USA Partners,. Alon USA Partners, is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than CVR Refining,, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Alon USA Partners, and CVR Refining,, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alon USA Partners, 0 2 3 0 2.60
CVR Refining, 1 5 0 0 1.83

Alon USA Partners, presently has a consensus target price of $12.25, suggesting a potential upside of 16.67%. CVR Refining, has a consensus target price of $9.67, suggesting a potential upside of 34.26%. Given CVR Refining,’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe CVR Refining, is more favorable than Alon USA Partners,.

Profitability

This table compares Alon USA Partners, and CVR Refining,’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alon USA Partners, 2.20% 40.06% 5.91%
CVR Refining, 1.02% 3.99% 2.25%

Risk & Volatility

Alon USA Partners, has a beta of 1.06, suggesting that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, CVR Refining, has a beta of 1.28, suggesting that its share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

7.0% of Alon USA Partners, shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 12.2% of CVR Refining, shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

About Alon USA Partners,

Alon USA Partners, LP (Alon) is engaged principally in the business of operating a crude oil refinery in Big Spring, Texas. The Company had a crude oil throughput capacity of 73,000 barrels per day, which the Company referred to as its Big Spring refinery, as of December 31, 2016. The Company refines crude oil into finished products, which the Company markets primarily in Central and West Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona through its integrated wholesale distribution network to retail convenience stores and other third-party distributors. Its Big Spring refinery is located on 1,306 acres in the Permian Basin in West Texas. Major processes at its Big Spring refinery include fluid catalytic cracking, naphtha reforming, vacuum distillation, hydrotreating, aromatic extraction and alkylation. The Company is managed and operated by Alon USA Partners GP, LLC (General Partner), an indirect subsidiary of Alon USA Energy, Inc. (Alon Energy), which is its parent company.

About CVR Refining,

CVR Refining, LP is an independent downstream energy limited partnership with refining and related logistics assets that operates in the mid-continent region. The Company is a petroleum refiner. It owned and operated a complex full coking medium-sour crude oil refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas with a rated capacity of 115,000 barrels per calendar day (bpcd) and a complex crude oil refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma with a rated capacity of 70,000 bpcd capable of processing 20,000 bpcd of light sour crude oils (within its rated capacity of 70,000 bpcd), as of December 31, 2016. In addition, it also controlled and operated supporting logistics assets, including approximately 340 miles of active owned and leased pipelines, approximately 150 crude oil transports, a network of crude oil gathering tank farms, approximately 6.4 million barrels of owned and leased crude oil storage and over 4.5 million barrels of combined refined products and feedstocks storage capacity, as of December 31, 2016.

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