Markwest Energy Partners (NYSE: MWE) and Hess (NYSE:HES) are both mid-cap energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, dividends, risk and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Markwest Energy Partners and Hess’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Markwest Energy Partners 10.37% 2.42% 1.71%
Hess -113.21% -9.30% -5.05%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Markwest Energy Partners and Hess, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Markwest Energy Partners 0 0 0 0 N/A
Hess 3 8 6 0 2.18

Hess has a consensus price target of $50.72, suggesting a potential upside of 2.53%. Given Hess’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Hess is more favorable than Markwest Energy Partners.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

89.1% of Hess shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.8% of Hess shares are owned 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.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Markwest Energy Partners and Hess’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Markwest Energy Partners N/A N/A N/A ($0.26) -160.19
Hess $4.84 billion 3.25 -$6.13 billion ($20.19) -2.45

Markwest Energy Partners has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Hess. Markwest Energy Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Hess, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Hess pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Markwest Energy Partners does not pay a dividend. Hess pays out -5.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Hess has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Summary

Hess beats Markwest Energy Partners on 9 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Markwest Energy Partners

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (MarkWest) is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids (NGLs), and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. The Company operates in four segments: Marcellus, Utica, Northeast and Southwest. The Marcellus segment provides integrated natural gas midstream services in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. The Company’s MarkWest Utica EMG provides gathering, processing, fractionation and marketing services. The Northeast segment assets include the Kenova, Boldman, Cobb, Kermit and Langley natural gas processing complexes, an NGL pipeline and the Siloam fractionation facility. The Company owns a system that consists of natural gas gathering pipelines, centralized compressor stations, two natural gas processing complexes and two NGL pipelines.

About Hess

Hess Corporation is an exploration and production company. The Company is engaged in exploration, development, production, transportation, purchase and sale of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL) and natural gas. The Company’s segments include Exploration and Production, and Bakken Midstream. Its Exploration and Production segment explores for, develops, produces, purchases and sells crude oil, NGLs and natural gas with production operations primarily in the United States, Denmark, the Malaysia/Thailand Joint Development Area (JDA), Malaysia and Norway. The Bakken Midstream segment provides fee-based services, including crude oil and natural gas gathering, processing of natural gas and the fractionation of NGLs, transportation of crude oil by rail car, terminaling and loading crude oil and NGLs, and the storage and terminaling of propane, primarily in the Bakken shale play of North Dakota.

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