Cincinnati Bell (NYSE: CBB) and Shaw Communications (NYSE:SJR) are both utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Cincinnati Bell and Shaw Communications’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cincinnati Bell 4.13% -2.69% 0.46%
Shaw Communications 16.80% 9.54% 3.69%

Volatility & Risk

Cincinnati Bell has a beta of 1.47, meaning that its stock price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Shaw Communications has a beta of 0.97, meaning that its stock price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

85.1% of Cincinnati Bell shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 51.4% of Shaw Communications shares are held by institutional investors. 1.4% of Cincinnati Bell shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Shaw Communications shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Shaw Communications pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.0%. Cincinnati Bell does not pay a dividend. Shaw Communications pays out 69.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Cincinnati Bell and Shaw Communications, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cincinnati Bell 2 2 1 0 1.80
Shaw Communications 1 4 1 0 2.00

Cincinnati Bell presently has a consensus target price of $23.50, suggesting a potential upside of 20.20%. Shaw Communications has a consensus target price of $27.20, suggesting a potential upside of 19.56%. Given Cincinnati Bell’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Cincinnati Bell is more favorable than Shaw Communications.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Cincinnati Bell and Shaw Communications’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cincinnati Bell $1.19 billion 0.70 $102.10 million $0.94 20.80
Shaw Communications $3.70 billion 2.92 $644.63 million $1.33 17.11

Shaw Communications has higher revenue and earnings than Cincinnati Bell. Shaw Communications is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cincinnati Bell, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Shaw Communications beats Cincinnati Bell on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cincinnati Bell

Cincinnati Bell Inc., along with its subsidiaries, provides diversified telecommunications and technology services. The Company operates through two segments: Entertainment and Communications, and IT Services and Hardware. Through its Entertainment and Communications segment, the Company provides high-speed data, video and voice solutions to consumers and businesses over fiber network and a legacy copper network. The IT Services and Hardware segments operates through its subsidiary, Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions Inc. (CBTS), which is engaged in the sale and service of end-to-end communications and information technology (IT) systems and solutions for business customers across the United States. The Company has interest in CyrusOne Inc., which operates carrier-neutral data center colocation business.

About Shaw Communications

Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw) is a diversified connectivity provider. The Company operates through four divisions: Consumer, Wireless, Business Network Services and Business Infrastructure Services. Under the Consumer division, the Company offers Cable telecommunications and Satellite video services to residential customers. Its Business Network Services division offers data networking, Cable telecommunications, Satellite video and fleet tracking services to businesses and public sector entities. Its Business Infrastructure Services division offers data center colocation, cloud technology and managed information technology (IT) solutions to businesses. The Company offers wireless services for voice and data communications through its Wireless division. Its wireline services offer approximately 120 high definition (HD) channels and over 10,000 on-demand, pay-per-view and subscription movie and television programming titles.

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