Spark New Zealand (NYSE: PHI) and PLDT (NYSE:PHI) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations and risk.

Dividends

Spark New Zealand pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.9%. PLDT pays an annual dividend of $1.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.2%. Spark New Zealand pays out 78.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. PLDT pays out 53.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. PLDT is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

0.3% of Spark New Zealand shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 6.7% of PLDT shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Spark New Zealand and PLDT’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Spark New Zealand $2.61 billion 1.82 $275.25 million $0.82 15.79
PLDT $3.17 billion 1.79 $264.74 million $2.53 10.38

Spark New Zealand has higher earnings, but lower revenue than PLDT. PLDT is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Spark New Zealand, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Spark New Zealand has a beta of 0.84, meaning that its stock price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, PLDT has a beta of 0.78, meaning that its stock price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Spark New Zealand and PLDT’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Spark New Zealand N/A N/A N/A
PLDT 5.24% 20.18% 5.00%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Spark New Zealand and PLDT, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Spark New Zealand 0 0 0 0 N/A
PLDT 1 4 2 0 2.14

Summary

PLDT beats Spark New Zealand on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Spark New Zealand Company Profile

Spark New Zealand Limited, together with its subsidiaries, provides telecommunications, and information and communications technology (ICT) products and services primarily in New Zealand. The company's Spark Home, Mobile & Business segment offers a range of services and content, data, and voice services across fiber, wireless, and copper broadband, mobile, online video entertainment, and nationwide Wi-Fi zones to consumer and small business customers. Its Spark Digital segment integrates IT and telecommunications services to provide converged ICT solutions for clients. The company's Spark Connect & Platforms segment engages in the Spark's network and IT operations, shared business operations, and digital and service transformation activities. Its Spark Ventures & Wholesale segment develops a portfolio of businesses; and engages in the servicing and stewardship of Spark's wholesale products and services. The company also offers IT infrastructure, business cloud, business telecommunications, outsourced telecommunications, subscription video-on-demand, big data analytics and marketing automation, IT infrastructure and data center, and international wholesale telecommunications services. In addition, it provides local, national, and international telephone and data services; and retails telecommunications products and services. The company was formerly known as Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Limited and changed its name to Spark New Zealand Limited in August 2014. Spark New Zealand Limited was founded in 1987 and is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

PLDT Company Profile

PLDT Inc. operates as a telecommunications company in the Philippines. The company's Wireless segment offers cellular mobile, Internet broadband distribution, operations support, mobile applications and digital platforms development, mobile payment, solutions and systems integration, satellite communications, and satellite information and messaging services. It also operates as a content provider; develops and maintains IT-based solutions for communications and e-commerce platforms; develops financial technology solutions; provides insurance products; markets, sells, and distributes payment solutions and other related services; and sells Wi-Fi access equipment. As of December 31, 2017, this segment served 58,531,262 wireless subscribers. Its Fixed Line segment provides fixed line telecommunications services; business infrastructure and solutions; intelligent data processing and implementation, and data analytics insight generation services; and information and communications infrastructure for Internet-based services, e-commerce, customer relationship management, and information technology (IT) related services. This segment also offers managed IT outsourcing, Internet-based purchasing, IT consulting and professional, bills printing and other related value-added, and air transportation services, as well as distributes Filipino channels and content services. As of December 31, 2017, it had 2,663,210 fixed line subscribers. The company has a strategic partnership with Rocket Internet SE to develop online and mobile payment solutions. The company was formerly known as Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and changed its name to PLDT Inc. in July 2016. PLDT Inc. was founded in 1928 and is based in Makati City, the Philippines.

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