Quanta Services (NYSE: PWR) and Stantec (NYSE:STN) are both mid-cap construction & engineering – nec companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, risk, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Dividends

Stantec pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Quanta Services does not pay a dividend. Stantec pays out 51.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Stantec has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Quanta Services and Stantec’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Quanta Services 3.18% 8.47% 5.08%
Stantec 2.24% 10.69% 5.03%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Quanta Services and Stantec, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Quanta Services 0 2 9 0 2.82
Stantec 0 1 2 0 2.67

Quanta Services currently has a consensus target price of $45.11, suggesting a potential upside of 25.27%. Stantec has a consensus target price of $38.50, suggesting a potential upside of 39.49%. Given Stantec’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Stantec is more favorable than Quanta Services.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Quanta Services and Stantec’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Quanta Services $7.65 billion 0.73 $198.38 million $1.85 19.46
Stantec $3.22 billion 0.98 $98.59 million $0.77 35.84

Quanta Services has higher revenue and earnings than Stantec. Quanta Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Stantec, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

86.8% of Quanta Services shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 56.5% of Stantec shares are held by institutional investors. 0.7% of Quanta Services shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Quanta Services has a beta of 0.87, meaning that its share price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Stantec has a beta of 1.6, meaning that its share price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Quanta Services beats Stantec on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Quanta Services

Quanta Services, Inc. is a provider of specialty contracting services, offering infrastructure solutions primarily to the electric power and oil and gas industries in the United States, Canada and Australia and selected other international markets. The Company operates through two segments: Electric Power Infrastructure Services, which provides network solutions to customers in the electric power industry, and Oil and Gas Infrastructure Services, which provides network solutions to customers involved in the development and transportation of natural gas, oil and other pipeline products. The services it provides include the design, installation, upgrade, repair and maintenance of infrastructure within each of the industries it serves, such as electric power transmission and distribution networks, substation facilities, renewable energy facilities, pipeline transmission and distribution systems and facilities, and infrastructure services for the offshore and inland water energy markets.

About Stantec

Stantec Inc. is a provider of professional services in the area of infrastructure and facilities for clients in the public and private sectors. The Company’s operates through four segments Consulting Services-Canada, Consulting Services-United States, Consulting Services-Global and Construction Services. The Company’s services include engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, construction services, project management, and project economics, from initial project concept and planning through to design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, decommissioning and remediation. The Company provides professional consulting services in engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental services, project management and project economics in the area of infrastructure and facilities, principally under fee-for-service agreements with clients.

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