Great Plains Energy (NYSE: GXP) and ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE:ITC) are both utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Great Plains Energy and ITC Holdings Corp., as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Great Plains Energy 0 2 6 0 2.75
ITC Holdings Corp. 0 1 0 0 2.00

Great Plains Energy currently has a consensus target price of $32.00, suggesting a potential upside of 5.61%. Given Great Plains Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Great Plains Energy is more favorable than ITC Holdings Corp..

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Great Plains Energy and ITC Holdings Corp.’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Great Plains Energy $2.69 billion 2.43 $1.11 billion $1.04 29.13
ITC Holdings Corp. N/A N/A N/A $1.54 29.55

Great Plains Energy has higher revenue and earnings than ITC Holdings Corp.. Great Plains Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than ITC Holdings Corp., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.9% of Great Plains Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.2% of ITC Holdings Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of Great Plains Energy shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.2% of ITC Holdings Corp. shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Great Plains Energy and ITC Holdings Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Great Plains Energy 8.00% 5.62% 1.82%
ITC Holdings Corp. 26.73% 16.53% 3.82%

Dividends

Great Plains Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. ITC Holdings Corp. pays an annual dividend of $0.86 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Great Plains Energy pays out 105.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. ITC Holdings Corp. pays out 55.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Great Plains Energy has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years and ITC Holdings Corp. has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Great Plains Energy is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Great Plains Energy beats ITC Holdings Corp. on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Great Plains Energy

Great Plains Energy Incorporated (Great Plains Energy) is a utility holding company. The Company operates through electric utility segment. The Company’s subsidiaries with operations include Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO). KCP&L is an integrated, regulated electric utility that provides electricity to customers primarily in the states of Missouri and Kansas. Kansas City Power & Light Receivables Company (KCP&L Receivables Company) is the KCP&L’s subsidiary. GMO is an integrated, regulated electric utility that provides electricity to customers in the state of Missouri. GMO also provides regulated steam service to certain customers in the St. Joseph, Missouri area. GMO’s subsidiaries include GMO Receivables Company and MPS Merchant Services, Inc. (MPS Merchant). As of December 31, 2016, electric utility had approximately 6,500 megawatts (MWs) of owned generating capacity.

About ITC Holdings Corp.

ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC Holdings) is a holding company. The Company is engaged in owning, operating, maintaining and investing in transmission infrastructure. The Company’s business consists primarily of the electric transmission operations of its Regulated Operating Subsidiaries. Its Regulated Operating Subsidiaries include International Transmission Company (ITCTransmission), Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC (METC), ITC Midwest LLC (ITC Midwest). The operations performed by its Regulated Operating Subsidiaries fall into the various categories, such as asset planning; engineering, design and construction; maintenance, and real time operations. Its customers include investor-owned utilities, municipalities, cooperatives, power marketers and alternative energy suppliers. It owns and operates high-voltage systems in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.

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