Sunoco Logistics Partners (NYSE: ETP) and Summit Midstream Partners, (NYSE:SMLP) are both energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, dividends and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Sunoco Logistics Partners and Summit Midstream Partners,’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sunoco Logistics Partners 4.97% 5.88% 2.44%
Summit Midstream Partners, 24.14% 11.61% 4.31%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Sunoco Logistics Partners and Summit Midstream Partners,’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sunoco Logistics Partners $9.15 billion 2.06 $705.00 million $0.60 27.18
Summit Midstream Partners, $402.36 million 3.55 -$40.91 million $1.46 13.12

Sunoco Logistics Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Summit Midstream Partners,. Summit Midstream Partners, is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sunoco Logistics Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Sunoco Logistics Partners has a beta of 1.01, indicating that its stock price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Summit Midstream Partners, has a beta of 1.69, indicating that its stock price is 69% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Sunoco Logistics Partners and Summit Midstream Partners,, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sunoco Logistics Partners 0 4 12 0 2.75
Summit Midstream Partners, 1 2 3 0 2.33

Sunoco Logistics Partners presently has a consensus price target of $25.77, suggesting a potential upside of 58.00%. Summit Midstream Partners, has a consensus price target of $26.20, suggesting a potential upside of 36.81%. Given Sunoco Logistics Partners’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Sunoco Logistics Partners is more favorable than Summit Midstream Partners,.

Dividends

Sunoco Logistics Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.26 per share and has a dividend yield of 13.9%. Summit Midstream Partners, pays an annual dividend of $2.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 12.0%. Sunoco Logistics Partners pays out 376.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Summit Midstream Partners, pays out 157.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Sunoco Logistics Partners has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years and Summit Midstream Partners, has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Sunoco Logistics Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

56.6% of Sunoco Logistics Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 49.8% of Summit Midstream Partners, shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.7% of Sunoco Logistics Partners shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Sunoco Logistics Partners beats Summit Midstream Partners, on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Sunoco Logistics Partners

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P., formerly Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., owns and operates a logistics business. The Company is engaged in the transport, terminaling and storage of crude oil, refined products and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The Company’s segments include Crude Oil, Natural Gas Liquids and Refined Products. In addition to logistics services, it also owns acquisition and marketing assets. The Crude Oil segment provides transportation, terminaling and acquisition and marketing services to crude oil markets throughout the southwest, midwest and northeastern United States. The Natural Gas Liquids segment transports, stores, and executes acquisition and marketing activities utilizing a network of pipelines, storage and blending facilities, and strategic off-take locations that provide access to multiple NGL markets. The Refined Products segment provides transportation and terminaling services, using refined products pipelines and refined products marketing terminals.

About Summit Midstream Partners,

Summit Midstream Partners, LP focuses on developing, owning and operating midstream energy infrastructure assets. The Company’s segments include the Utica Shale, which includes its ownership interest in Ohio Gathering, as well as Summit Utica; the Williston Basin, which includes Bison Midstream, Polar and Divide and Tioga Midstream; the Marcellus Shale, which includes Mountaineer Midstream; the Barnett Shale, which includes DFW Midstream Services LLC (DFW Midstream), and the Piceance Basin /DJ Basins, which includes Grand River and Niobrara G&P. The Company’s assets are located in the producing areas of unconventional resource basins, primarily shale formations, in the continental United States. It provides natural gas gathering, treating and processing services, as well as crude oil and produced water gathering services pursuant to long-term and fee-based agreements with its customers.

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