Rice Energy (NYSE: RICE) and Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) are both mid-cap companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, risk and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Rice Energy and Whiting Petroleum Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Rice Energy 0 18 5 0 2.22
Whiting Petroleum Corporation 5 11 10 0 2.19

Rice Energy presently has a consensus price target of $27.71, suggesting a potential downside of 5.49%. Whiting Petroleum Corporation has a consensus price target of $36.30, suggesting a potential upside of 57.69%. Given Whiting Petroleum Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Whiting Petroleum Corporation is more favorable than Rice Energy.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Rice Energy and Whiting Petroleum Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Rice Energy $778.91 million 8.58 -$269.75 million ($1.24) -23.65
Whiting Petroleum Corporation $1.28 billion 1.62 -$1.34 billion ($7.20) -3.20

Rice Energy has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Whiting Petroleum Corporation. Rice Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Whiting Petroleum Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Rice Energy and Whiting Petroleum Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Rice Energy -7.79% 5.38% 3.33%
Whiting Petroleum Corporation -45.39% -5.06% -2.71%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

87.2% of Rice Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 1.7% of Rice Energy shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of Whiting Petroleum Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Rice Energy has a beta of 1.57, meaning that its stock price is 57% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Whiting Petroleum Corporation has a beta of 3.4, meaning that its stock price is 240% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Rice Energy beats Whiting Petroleum Corporation on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Rice Energy

Rice Energy Inc. (Rice Energy) is an independent natural gas and oil company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) properties in the Appalachian Basin. The Company conducts its operations through two segments: Exploration and Production, and Midstream. The Exploration and Production segment is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of natural gas, oil and NGLs. The Exploration and Production segment operates in the cores of the Marcellus and Utica Shales. The Company controls approximately 231,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Ohio Utica Shale cores. It operates approximately 1,164 drilling locations. The Midstream segment is engaged in the gathering and compression of natural gas, oil and NGL production of, and in the provision of water services to support the well completion activities of, Rice Energy and third parties.

About Whiting Petroleum Corporation

Whiting Petroleum Corporation is an independent oil and gas company. The Company is engaged in development, production, acquisition and exploration activities primarily in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States. It is engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil, natural gas liquid (NGLs) and natural gas. Its Northern Rocky Mountains operations included properties in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana targeting the Bakken and Three Forks formations and encompassing approximately 736,000 gross developed and undeveloped acres, as of December 31, 2016. Its Central Rocky Mountains operations included properties at its Redtail field in the Denver Julesburg Basin in Weld County, Colorado targeting the Niobrara and Codell/Fort Hays formations and encompassing approximately 157,200 gross developed and undeveloped acres, as of December 31, 2016. Its other operations primarily relate to non-core assets in Colorado, Mississippi, North Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

Receive News & Ratings for Rice Energy Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Rice Energy Inc. and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.