Copano Energy, L.L.C. (NASDAQ: CPNO) and TC PipeLines, (NYSE:TCP) are both natural gas pipeline companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Copano Energy, L.L.C. and TC PipeLines,’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Copano Energy, L.L.C. N/A N/A N/A ($2.39) N/A
TC PipeLines, $357.00 million 10.50 $244.00 million $3.13 17.26

TC PipeLines, has higher revenue and earnings than Copano Energy, L.L.C.. Copano Energy, L.L.C. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than TC PipeLines,, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


TC PipeLines, pays an annual dividend of $4.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.4%. Copano Energy, L.L.C. does not pay a dividend. TC PipeLines, pays out 127.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Copano Energy, L.L.C. has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

60.0% of TC PipeLines, shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.1% of TC PipeLines, shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Copano Energy, L.L.C. and TC PipeLines,’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Copano Energy, L.L.C. N/A N/A N/A
TC PipeLines, 62.63% 19.77% 7.16%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Copano Energy, L.L.C. and TC PipeLines,, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Copano Energy, L.L.C. 0 0 0 0 N/A
TC PipeLines, 1 3 1 0 2.00

TC PipeLines, has a consensus target price of $62.75, indicating a potential upside of 16.14%.


TC PipeLines, beats Copano Energy, L.L.C. on 9 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Copano Energy, L.L.C. Company Profile

Copano Energy, L.L.C. (Copano) is an energy company engaged in the business of providing midstream services to natural gas producers, including gathering, transportation and processing of natural gas, fractionation and transportation of natural gas liquids (NGLs) and other related services. Copano’s assets are located in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Louisiana, and include approximately 6,800 miles of active natural gas gathering and transmission pipelines, and 10 natural gas processing plants, with over one billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of combined processing capacity. In addition to the natural gas pipelines, it operates 380 miles of NGL pipelines. Copano operates in three segments: Texas, Oklahoma and Rocky Mountains. In May 2013, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP acquired the entire share capital of Copano Energy LLC.

TC PipeLines, Company Profile

TC PipeLines, LP is a master limited partnership. The Company acquires, owns and participates in the management of energy infrastructure businesses in North America. The Company’s pipeline systems transport natural gas in the United States. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had four pipelines and equity ownership interests in three natural gas interstate pipeline systems that are collectively designed to transport approximately 9.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from producing regions and import facilities to market hubs and consuming markets primarily in the Western, Midwestern and Eastern United States. The Company’s pipeline systems include Gas Transmission Northwest LLC (GTN), Bison Pipeline LLC (Bison), North Baja Pipeline, LLC (North Baja), Tuscarora Gas Transmission Company (Tuscarora), Northern Border Pipeline Company (Northern Border), Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS), and Great Lakes Gas Transmission Limited Partnership (Great Lakes).

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