Southern Union (NYSE: SUG) and Just Energy Group (NYSE:JE) are both utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Dividends

Just Energy Group pays an annual dividend of $0.39 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.9%. Southern Union does not pay a dividend. Just Energy Group pays out 52.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility and Risk

Southern Union has a beta of 0.87, meaning that its share price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Just Energy Group has a beta of 0.91, meaning that its share price is 9% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Southern Union and Just Energy Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southern Union 0 0 0 0 N/A
Just Energy Group 0 2 4 0 2.67

Just Energy Group has a consensus price target of $7.75, suggesting a potential upside of 76.94%.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

29.9% of Just Energy Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 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.

Profitability

This table compares Southern Union and Just Energy Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southern Union N/A N/A N/A
Just Energy Group 4.95% -197.61% 22.35%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Southern Union and Just Energy Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southern Union N/A N/A N/A $2.02 N/A
Just Energy Group $2.84 billion 0.23 $340.07 million $0.75 5.84

Just Energy Group has higher revenue and earnings than Southern Union. Southern Union is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Just Energy Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Just Energy Group beats Southern Union on 7 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Southern Union

Southern Union Company (Southern Union) is engaged in the gathering, processing, transportation, storage and distribution of natural gas in the United States. The Company owns and operates assets in the regulated and unregulated natural gas industry. Southern Union operates in three segments: Transportation and Storage, which is engaged in the interstate transportation and storage of natural gas and provides liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminalling and re-gasification services; Gathering and Processing, which is engaged in the gathering, treating, processing and redelivery of natural gas and natural gas liquid (NGL) in Texas and New Mexico, and Distribution, which is engaged in the local distribution of natural gas in Missouri. Effective December 20, 2013, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (APUC) announced that, Liberty Utilities, APUC’s regulated distribution utility, acquired the Massachusetts natural gas distribution utility assets (New England Gas Assets) of Southern Union Company.

About Just Energy Group

Just Energy Group Inc. (Just Energy) is an energy management solutions provider engaged in electricity, natural gas, solar and green energy. The Company’s segments include Consumer Energy and Commercial Energy. The Company operates in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, offering a range of energy products, including long-term fixed-price, variable rate and flat bill programs; home energy management services, including smart thermostats and tools to manage energy use at the appliance level, and residential solar panel installations. It markets under the brands, such as Just Energy, Hudson Energy, Amigo Energy, GreenStar Energy, Just Solar, Tara Energy and TerraPass. Just Energy’s commercial business is operated primarily through Hudson Energy. Hudson Energy offers fixed and variable rate natural gas and electricity contracts, as well as customized products. Just Energy also offers green products through its JustGreen Electricity and Natural Gas and TerraPass programs.

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