Superior Energy Services (NYSE: SPN) and Matrix Service (NASDAQ:MTRX) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, dividends and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Superior Energy Services and Matrix Service, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Superior Energy Services 0 12 7 0 2.37
Matrix Service 0 2 0 0 2.00

Superior Energy Services presently has a consensus target price of $13.00, suggesting a potential upside of 48.91%. Given Superior Energy Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Superior Energy Services is more favorable than Matrix Service.

Volatility & Risk

Superior Energy Services has a beta of 2.16, suggesting that its share price is 116% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Matrix Service has a beta of 0.84, suggesting that its share price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

88.3% of Matrix Service shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.9% of Superior Energy Services shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.5% of Matrix Service shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Superior Energy Services and Matrix Service’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Superior Energy Services -24.59% -26.18% -9.41%
Matrix Service -0.51% -1.75% -0.96%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Superior Energy Services and Matrix Service’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Superior Energy Services $1.45 billion 0.92 -$886.89 million ($2.81) -3.11
Matrix Service $1.20 billion 0.40 -$180,000.00 ($0.22) -80.68

Matrix Service has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Superior Energy Services. Matrix Service is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Superior Energy Services, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Superior Energy Services beats Matrix Service on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Superior Energy Services Company Profile

Superior Energy Services, Inc. provides a range of services and products to the energy industry related to the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas. The Company’s segments include Drilling Products and Services, which rents and sells bottom hole assemblies, drill pipe, tubulars and specialized equipment for use with onshore and offshore oil and gas well drilling, production and workover activities; Onshore Completion and Workover Services, which provides pressure pumping services used to complete and stimulate production in new oil and gas wells, fluid handling services and well servicing rigs that provide a range of well completion and maintenance services; Production Services, which provides intervention services, such as coiled tubing, cased hole and mechanical wireline, hydraulic workover and snubbing, and remedial pumping services, and Technical Solutions, which provides services requiring specialized engineering, manufacturing or project planning.

Matrix Service Company Profile

Matrix Service Company provides engineering, fabrication, infrastructure, construction and maintenance services primarily to the oil, gas, power, petrochemical, industrial, mining and minerals markets. The Company’s segments include Electrical Infrastructure, Oil Gas & Chemical, Storage Solutions and Industrial. The Electrical Infrastructure segment primarily includes construction and maintenance services to a range of power generation facilities, such as combined cycle plants, natural gas fired power stations and renewable energy installations. The Oil Gas & Chemical segment includes turnaround activities, plant maintenance services and construction in the downstream petroleum industry. The Storage Solutions segment includes new construction of crude and refined products aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), as well as planned and emergency maintenance services. The Industrial segment includes construction and maintenance work in the iron and steel and mining and minerals industries.

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