Premier (OTCMKTS:PRHL) and TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, risk, valuation and institutional ownership.

Dividends

TransAlta pays an annual dividend of $0.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. Premier does not pay a dividend. TransAlta pays out -22.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Premier and TransAlta’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Premier $2.70 million 3.28 -$10.52 million N/A N/A
TransAlta $1.74 billion 1.05 -$152.76 million ($0.53) -12.09

Premier has higher earnings, but lower revenue than TransAlta.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Premier and TransAlta, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Premier 0 0 0 0 N/A
TransAlta 0 2 2 0 2.50

Institutional & Insider Ownership

50.0% of TransAlta shares are owned by institutional investors. 39.3% of Premier shares are owned 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 and Volatility

Premier has a beta of 2.94, indicating that its stock price is 194% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, TransAlta has a beta of 1.31, indicating that its stock price is 31% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Premier and TransAlta’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Premier N/A N/A N/A
TransAlta -14.67% -8.73% -3.03%

Summary

Premier beats TransAlta on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Premier

Premier Holding Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides energy services in the United States. It offers various electricity plans and upgrades to a facility's energy infrastructure to commercial middle market companies and residential customers. The company also provides deregulated power brokerage services for small businesses, warehouses, and distribution centers. The company was formerly known as OVM International Holding Corporation and changed its name to Premier Holding Corporation in November 2008. Premier Holding Corporation was founded in 1971 and is based in Tustin, California.

About TransAlta

TransAlta Corporation operates as non-regulated electricity generation and energy marketing company in Canada, the United States, and Western Australia. It operates through eight segments: Canadian Coal, U.S. Coal, Canadian Gas, Australian Gas, Wind and Solar, Hydro, Energy Marketing, and Corporate. The company generates and markets electricity through various generation fuels, such as coal, natural gas, water, solar, and wind. It also engages in wholesale trading of electricity and other energy-related commodities and derivatives. The company operates facilities with approximately 9,331 megawatts of aggregate generating capacity. TransAlta Corporation was founded in 1909 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

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