Questar (NYSE: STR) and JP Energy Partners (NYSE:JPEP) are both utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, risk and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Questar and JP Energy Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Questar 0 1 0 0 2.00
JP Energy Partners 0 1 1 0 2.50

Questar currently has a consensus price target of $25.00, suggesting a potential downside of 0.24%. JP Energy Partners has a consensus price target of $11.00, suggesting a potential upside of 16.53%. Given JP Energy Partners’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe JP Energy Partners is more favorable than Questar.

Dividends

Questar pays an annual dividend of $0.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. JP Energy Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 13.8%. Questar pays out 79.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. JP Energy Partners pays out -81.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Questar has increased its dividend for 37 consecutive years. JP Energy Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

78.9% of Questar shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 53.4% of JP Energy Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of Questar shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Questar and JP Energy Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Questar N/A N/A N/A $1.11 22.58
JP Energy Partners N/A N/A N/A ($1.59) -5.94

JP Energy Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Questar, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Questar has a beta of 0.51, suggesting that its stock price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, JP Energy Partners has a beta of 3.3, suggesting that its stock price is 230% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Questar and JP Energy Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Questar 19.01% 9.76% 3.19%
JP Energy Partners -5.61% -5.99% -4.01%

Summary

Questar beats JP Energy Partners on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Questar

Dominion Questar Corp, formerly Questar Corporation, is an integrated natural gas holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries is principally engaged in three lines of business, which include Questar Gas Company (Questar Gas), which provides retail natural gas distribution in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho; Wexpro Company (Wexpro), which develops and produces natural gas from cost-of-service reserves for Questar Gas customers, and Questar Pipeline Company, which operates interstate natural gas pipelines and storage facilities in the western the United States and provides other energy services. The Company is also engaged in Corporate and Other operations, which include Questar Fueling Company (Questar Fueling) that builds, owns and operates compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations for fleet operators with medium- and heavy-duty trucks and tractors. Questar Gas distributes gas to customers along the Wasatch Front, Provo, Salt Lake, Ogden and other areas in Utah.

About JP Energy Partners

JP Energy Partners LP owns, operates, develops and acquires a portfolio of midstream energy assets. The Company provides midstream infrastructure solutions for the supply of crude oil, refined products and natural gas liquids (NGLs) in the United States. The Company’s segments include crude oil pipelines and storage, refined products terminals and storage, and NGL distribution and sales. The Company’s crude oil businesses are situated in areas, including the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford shale. Its crude oil pipelines and storage segment manages the physical movement of crude oil from origination to final destination through its network of owned and leased assets. Its refined product terminals and storage segment consists of approximately two refined products terminals located in North Little Rock, Arkansas and Caddo Mills, Texas. The Company’s NGL distribution and sales segment involves the retail, commercial and wholesale sale of NGLs and other refined products.

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