National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) and Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE:FGP) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for National Oilwell Varco and Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National Oilwell Varco 3 14 6 0 2.13
Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. 2 3 1 0 1.83

National Oilwell Varco presently has a consensus price target of $38.63, suggesting a potential upside of 27.33%. Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. has a consensus price target of $9.59, suggesting a potential upside of 101.84%. Given Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. is more favorable than National Oilwell Varco.

Dividends

National Oilwell Varco pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.4%. National Oilwell Varco pays out -3.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. pays out -6.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

90.3% of National Oilwell Varco shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 6.9% of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of National Oilwell Varco shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares National Oilwell Varco and Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
National Oilwell Varco $6.84 billion 1.69 -$440.00 million ($6.04) -5.02
Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. $1.91 billion 0.24 $237.99 million ($6.66) -0.71

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. has higher revenue, but lower earnings than National Oilwell Varco. National Oilwell Varco is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares National Oilwell Varco and Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National Oilwell Varco -33.24% -2.12% -1.41%
Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. -34.63% N/A -14.85%

Risk and Volatility

National Oilwell Varco has a beta of 1, indicating that its stock price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.Comparatively, Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. has a beta of 0.66, indicating that its stock price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

National Oilwell Varco beats Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About National Oilwell Varco

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. is an oilfield equipment manufacturer and technology provider. The Company operates through four segments: Rig Systems, Rig Aftermarket, Wellbore Technologies and Completion & Production Solutions. The Rig Systems segment makes and supports the capital equipment and integrated systems needed to drill oil and gas wells on land and offshore. The Rig Systems segment designs, manufactures and sells land rigs, offshore drilling equipment packages, and drilling rig components. The Rig Aftermarket segment provides aftermarket products and services to support a large installed base of land and offshore rigs, and drilling rig components manufactured by the Company’s Rig Systems segment. The Wellbore Technologies segment designs, manufactures, rents and sells a range of equipment and technologies used to perform drilling operations. The Completion & Production Solutions segment integrates technologies for well completions and oil and gas production.

About Ferrellgas Partners, L.P.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. is engaged in the retail distribution of propane and related equipment sales, and midstream operations, which include crude oil logistics. The Company’s segments include propane and related equipment sales, midstream operations-crude oil logistics, and corporate and other. The propane and related equipment sales segment consists of the distribution of propane and related equipment and supplies. The midstream operations-crude oil logistics segment is engaged in providing crude oil transportation and logistics services. The corporate and other segment includes midstream operations-water solutions. The Company’s two subsidiaries include Ferrellgas Partners Finance Corp. and the operating partnership. Its general partner performs all management functions for the Company and holds general partner interest in Ferrellgas Partners and the operating partnership. It is a distributor of propane and related equipment and supplies to customers in the United States.

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