Midcoast Energy Partners (NYSE: MEP) and Markwest Energy Partners (NYSE:MWE) are both energy companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

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This table compares Midcoast Energy Partners and Markwest Energy Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Midcoast Energy Partners -5.25% -34.51% -2.64%
Markwest Energy Partners 10.37% 2.42% 1.71%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

64.7% of Midcoast Energy Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Midcoast Energy Partners and Markwest Energy Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Midcoast Energy Partners 0 0 0 0 N/A
Markwest Energy Partners 0 0 0 0 N/A

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Midcoast Energy Partners and Markwest Energy Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Midcoast Energy Partners N/A N/A N/A ($3.67) -2.17
Markwest Energy Partners N/A N/A N/A ($0.26) -160.19

Markwest Energy Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Midcoast Energy Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Midcoast Energy Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.43 per share and has a dividend yield of 18.0%. Markwest Energy Partners does not pay a dividend. Midcoast Energy Partners pays out -39.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Midcoast Energy Partners has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Summary

Midcoast Energy Partners beats Markwest Energy Partners on 5 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Midcoast Energy Partners

Midcoast Energy Partners, L.P. (MEP) is a limited partnership company that is engaged in the natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) midstream business. It operates through two segments: Gathering, Processing and Transportation, and Logistics and Marketing. It also provides marketing services of natural gas and NGLs to wholesale customers. The Company’s gathering, processing and transportation business includes natural gas and NGL gathering and transportation pipeline systems, natural gas processing and treating facilities, condensate stabilizers and an NGL fractionation facility. Its logistics and marketing business provides marketing services of natural gas, NGLs and condensate received from its gathering, processing and transportation business. The Company holds interest in Midcoast Operating, L.P., a Texas limited partnership that owns a network of natural gas and NGL gathering and transportation systems, natural gas processing and treating facilities.

About Markwest Energy Partners

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (MarkWest) is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids (NGLs), and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. The Company operates in four segments: Marcellus, Utica, Northeast and Southwest. The Marcellus segment provides integrated natural gas midstream services in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. The Company’s MarkWest Utica EMG provides gathering, processing, fractionation and marketing services. The Northeast segment assets include the Kenova, Boldman, Cobb, Kermit and Langley natural gas processing complexes, an NGL pipeline and the Siloam fractionation facility. The Company owns a system that consists of natural gas gathering pipelines, centralized compressor stations, two natural gas processing complexes and two NGL pipelines.

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