American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is one of 82 public companies in the “Electric Utilities” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare American Electric Power to related businesses based on the strength of its earnings, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for American Electric Power and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Electric Power 0 8 5 0 2.38
American Electric Power Competitors 535 2961 2388 42 2.33

American Electric Power presently has a consensus target price of $73.91, suggesting a potential downside of 3.50%. As a group, “Electric Utilities” companies have a potential upside of 7.44%. Given American Electric Power’s peers higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe American Electric Power has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Dividends

American Electric Power pays an annual dividend of $2.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. American Electric Power pays out 64.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Electric Utilities” companies pay a dividend yield of 3.2% and pay out 96.9% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. American Electric Power has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years. American Electric Power is clearly a better dividend stock than its peers, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares American Electric Power and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Electric Power 12.21% 9.67% 2.73%
American Electric Power Competitors -15.26% 9.13% 2.35%

Volatility and Risk

American Electric Power has a beta of 0.29, indicating that its stock price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Electric Power’s peers have a beta of 0.63, indicating that their average stock price is 37% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

71.3% of American Electric Power shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.7% of shares of all “Electric Utilities” companies are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of American Electric Power shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.7% of shares of all “Electric Utilities” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares American Electric Power and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
American Electric Power $16.40 billion $610.90 million 20.05
American Electric Power Competitors $7.66 billion $831.80 million 44.83

American Electric Power has higher revenue, but lower earnings than its peers. American Electric Power is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Summary

American Electric Power beats its peers on 8 of the 15 factors compared.

About American Electric Power

American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP) is a public utility holding company that owns, directly or indirectly, all of the outstanding common stock of its public utility subsidiaries and varying percentages of other subsidiaries. The service areas of the Company’s public utility subsidiaries cover the states of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The Company’s segments include Vertically Integrated Utilities, Transmission and Distribution Utilities, AEP Transmission Holdco, and Generation & Marketing. AEP’s vertically integrated utility operations are engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers. Transmission and Distribution Utilities segment consists of the transmission and distribution of electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers. AEP Transmission Holdco develops, constructs and operates transmission facilities.

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