Artesian Resources Corporation (NASDAQ: ARTNA) and Global Water Resources (NASDAQ:GWRS) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

39.9% of Artesian Resources Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 17.0% of Global Water Resources shares are held by institutional investors. 20.6% of Artesian Resources Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 49.2% of Global Water Resources shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Artesian Resources Corporation has a beta of 0.1, meaning that its stock price is 90% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Global Water Resources has a beta of 0.31, meaning that its stock price is 69% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Artesian Resources Corporation and Global Water Resources, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Artesian Resources Corporation 0 1 0 0 2.00
Global Water Resources 0 0 1 0 3.00

Artesian Resources Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $41.00, suggesting a potential upside of 11.26%. Global Water Resources has a consensus price target of $11.00, suggesting a potential upside of 14.46%. Given Global Water Resources’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Global Water Resources is more favorable than Artesian Resources Corporation.

Dividends

Artesian Resources Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.93 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Global Water Resources pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Artesian Resources Corporation pays out 63.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Global Water Resources pays out 350.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Profitability

This table compares Artesian Resources Corporation and Global Water Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Artesian Resources Corporation 16.58% 9.62% 2.94%
Global Water Resources 5.05% 10.46% 0.64%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Artesian Resources Corporation and Global Water Resources’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Artesian Resources Corporation $80.94 million 4.18 $36.76 million $1.47 25.07
Global Water Resources $30.33 million 6.21 $12.60 million $0.08 120.14

Artesian Resources Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Global Water Resources. Artesian Resources Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Global Water Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Global Water Resources beats Artesian Resources Corporation on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Artesian Resources Corporation Company Profile

Artesian Resources Corporation is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries offer water, wastewater and other services on the Delmarva Peninsula. The Company distributes and sells water, including water for public and private fire protection, to residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and utility customers in the states of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Company also provides wastewater services to customers in Delaware. In addition, the Company provides contract water and wastewater operations, and water, sewer and internal Service Line Protection Plans. As of December 31, 2016, the Company was the holding company of five regulated public utilities: Artesian Water Company, Inc., Artesian Water Pennsylvania, Inc., Artesian Water Maryland, Inc., Artesian Wastewater Management, Inc. and Artesian Wastewater Maryland, Inc., and three non-regulated subsidiaries: Artesian Utility Development, Inc., Artesian Development Corporation and Artesian Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Global Water Resources Company Profile

Global Water Resources, Inc. is a water resource management company. The Company owns, operates and manages water, wastewater and recycled water utilities in strategically located communities, principally in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona. The Company focuses on the issues of water supply and scarcity, and applies principles of water conservation through water reclamation and reuse. As of April 28, 2016, the Company owned nine water and wastewater utilities in communities principally in metropolitan Phoenix. As of April 28, 2016, the Company served over 50,000 people in approximately 20,000 homes within its 332 square miles of certificated service areas. The Company is creating renewable water systems where wastewater from homes is treated and used again for various outdoor applications.

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