Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) and Southern Company Gas (NYSE:GAS) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, risk, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Southern Company Gas does not pay a dividend. Chesapeake Utilities Corporation pays out 50.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has raised its dividend for 13 consecutive years and Southern Company Gas has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

61.2% of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 4.2% of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation shares are held by company insiders. 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.

Profitability

This table compares Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and Southern Company Gas’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation 7.40% 9.18% 3.41%
Southern Company Gas 6.84% 2.13% 0.90%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and Southern Company Gas’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation $498.86 million 2.62 $44.67 million $2.56 31.25
Southern Company Gas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Southern Company Gas.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and Southern Company Gas, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation 0 5 0 0 2.00
Southern Company Gas 0 0 0 0 N/A

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $73.00, indicating a potential downside of 8.75%.

Risk & Volatility

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has a beta of 0.25, suggesting that its stock price is 75% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Southern Company Gas has a beta of -0.08, suggesting that its stock price is 108% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation beats Southern Company Gas on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation Company Profile

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (Chesapeake) is an energy company. The Company operates through two segments: Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Company provides natural gas distribution and transmission; natural gas supply, gathering, processing and marketing; electric distribution and generation; propane distribution; propane and crude oil wholesale marketing; steam generation, and other energy-related services. The Regulated Energy segment includes the Company’s natural gas distribution, natural gas transmission and electric distribution operations. The Unregulated Energy segment includes its propane distribution, propane and crude oil wholesale marketing, natural gas marketing and unregulated natural gas supply, gathering and processing, electricity and steam generation and other unregulated energy-related services to customers.

Southern Company Gas Company Profile

Southern Company Gas, formerly AGL Resources Inc, is a natural gas-only distribution company. The Company operates in four operating segments: distribution operations, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. The Company’s distribution operations segment is engaged in providing natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers. The retail operations segment is involved in the provision of natural gas commodity and related services. The wholesale services segment is engaged in natural gas storage, gas pipeline arbitrage and provides natural gas asset management and related logistics services for its utilities, as well as for non-affiliated companies. Midstream operations segment consists primarily of natural gas storage facilities and select pipelines, enabling the provision of diverse sources of natural gas supplies to its customers.

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