Ion Geophysical (NYSE: IO) and Franks International (NYSE:FI) are both small-cap energy companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, risk, profitability, dividends, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

34.1% of Ion Geophysical shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 31.5% of Franks International shares are owned by institutional investors. 15.2% of Ion Geophysical shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 77.9% of Franks International shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Ion Geophysical and Franks International, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ion Geophysical 0 0 0 0 N/A
Franks International 3 9 1 0 1.85

Franks International has a consensus price target of $7.61, indicating a potential downside of 1.28%. Given Franks International’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Franks International is more favorable than Ion Geophysical.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ion Geophysical and Franks International’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ion Geophysical $172.81 million 1.66 -$65.14 million ($3.00) -8.02
Franks International $487.53 million 3.53 -$135.33 million ($0.53) -14.55

Ion Geophysical has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Franks International. Franks International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ion Geophysical, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares Ion Geophysical and Franks International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ion Geophysical -20.19% -102.40% -11.83%
Franks International -26.21% -9.25% -7.80%


Franks International pays an annual dividend of $0.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.9%. Ion Geophysical does not pay a dividend. Franks International pays out -56.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility & Risk

Ion Geophysical has a beta of 3.81, indicating that its share price is 281% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Franks International has a beta of 1.1, indicating that its share price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Franks International beats Ion Geophysical on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ion Geophysical

ION Geophysical Corporation is a technology-focused company. It provides geophysical technology, services and solutions to the global oil and gas industry. Its offerings are designed to enable oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies to obtain images of the Earth’s subsurface. It offers services and products through three segments: E&P Technology & Services, E&P Operations Optimization, and Ocean Bottom Services. E&P Technology & Services provides services and products for complex and hard-to-image geologies, such as deepwater subsalt formations in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore East and West Africa and Brazil; unconventional reservoirs, such as those found onshore in shale, tight gas and oil sands formations, and offshore basin-wide seismic data and imaging programs. E&P Operations Optimization combines its Optimization Software and Services and Devices offerings. Ocean Bottom Services consists of OceanGeo, an ocean bottom data acquisition services company.

About Franks International

Frank’s International N.V. (FINV) is a provider of engineered tubular services, tubular fabrication and specialty well construction and well intervention solutions to the oil and gas industry. The Company operates through four business segments: International Services, U. S. Services, Tubular Sales and Blackhawk. As of December 31, 2016, the International Services segment provided tubular services in international offshore markets and in several onshore international regions in approximately 60 countries on six continents. The U.S. Services segment provides tubular services. The Blackhawk segment provides well construction and well intervention rental equipment, services and products, in addition to the cementing tool expertise, in the United States and Mexican Gulf of Mexico, onshore United States and other select international locations.

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