Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ:CNSL) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, profitability, risk, earnings and institutional ownership.

Volatility & Risk

Consolidated Communications has a beta of 1.04, indicating that its share price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Verizon Communications has a beta of 0.51, indicating that its share price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Consolidated Communications and Verizon Communications, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Consolidated Communications 1 1 1 0 2.00
Verizon Communications 0 10 6 0 2.38

Consolidated Communications presently has a consensus target price of $5.75, suggesting a potential upside of 11.00%. Verizon Communications has a consensus target price of $63.69, suggesting a potential upside of 8.60%. Given Consolidated Communications’ higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Consolidated Communications is more favorable than Verizon Communications.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

77.2% of Consolidated Communications shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.2% of Verizon Communications shares are held by institutional investors. 3.1% of Consolidated Communications shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.0% of Verizon Communications shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Consolidated Communications and Verizon Communications’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Consolidated Communications -2.10% -2.94% -0.32%
Verizon Communications 14.61% 33.39% 6.96%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Consolidated Communications and Verizon Communications’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Consolidated Communications $1.40 billion 0.27 -$50.83 million ($0.42) -12.33
Verizon Communications $131.87 billion 1.84 $19.27 billion $4.81 12.19

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

Summary

Verizon Communications beats Consolidated Communications on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Consolidated Communications Company Profile

Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides telecommunications services to business and residential customers in the United States. It offers high-speed broadband Internet access and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone services to small, medium, and large business customers; commercial data connectivity services in select markets, including a portfolio of Ethernet services, software defined wide area network, multi-protocol label switching, and private line services; and wholesale services to regional and national interexchange and wireless carriers, including cellular backhaul, dark fiber, and other fiber transport solutions. The company also provides voice services that include local phone and long-distance service packages for business customers; and sells business equipment and provides related hardware and maintenance support, video, and other miscellaneous services, as well as rents customer premises equipment. In addition, it offers video services, which consist of high-definition television, digital video recorders (DVR), and/or a whole home DVR; other in-demand streaming content; and network access services, including interstate and intrastate switched access, network special access, and end user access. Further, the company engages in telephone directory publishing, video advertising, billing and support services, and other miscellaneous activities. As of December 31, 2018, it had approximately 902 thousand voice connections, 779 thousand data connections, and 93 thousand video connections. The company serves customers in consumer, commercial, and carrier channels. Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1894 and is headquartered in Mattoon, Illinois.

Verizon Communications Company Profile

Verizon Communications Inc., through its subsidiaries, offers communications, information, and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company's Wireless segment provides wireless voice and data services; Internet access on various notebook computers and tablets; international travel wireless services; and network access services to deliver various Internet of Things products and services, as well as offers digital advertising and digital media services platforms. This segment also provides wireless devices, including smartphones and basic phones, wearables, and tablets and other Internet access devices. As of December 31, 2018, it had 118.0 million retail connections. Its Wireline segment offers traditional circuit-based network products and services; networking solutions, comprising private Internet protocol (IP), Ethernet, and software-defined wide area network, as well as cyber security services; local exchange, regional, long distance, and toll-free calling services; voice messaging and conferencing services; and workforce productivity and customer contact center solutions, as well as residential fixed connectivity solutions, including Internet, TV, and voice services under the Fios brand name. This segment also provides premises equipment, as well as installation, maintenance, and site services; data, voice, local dial tone, and broadband services primarily to local, long distance, and wireless carriers; voice and networking products, Fios services, IP networking, voice solutions, security, and managed information technology services for small and medium businesses, state and local governments, and educational institutions; and security and managed network services. The company was formerly known as Bell Atlantic Corporation and changed its name to Verizon Communications Inc. in June 2000. Verizon Communications Inc. was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

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