Superior Energy Services (NYSE: SPN) and Oceaneering International (NYSE:OII) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, valuation, profitability, institutional ownership, risk and analyst recommendations.


This table compares Superior Energy Services and Oceaneering International’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Superior Energy Services -24.59% -26.18% -9.41%
Oceaneering International -0.94% 0.21% 0.10%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

99.7% of Oceaneering International shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.9% of Superior Energy Services shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of Oceaneering International shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


Oceaneering International pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Superior Energy Services does not pay a dividend. Oceaneering International pays out -315.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Superior Energy Services and Oceaneering International, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Superior Energy Services 0 12 7 0 2.37
Oceaneering International 3 12 5 0 2.10

Superior Energy Services currently has a consensus target price of $13.00, indicating a potential upside of 52.94%. Oceaneering International has a consensus target price of $24.84, indicating a potential upside of 34.87%. Given Superior Energy Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Superior Energy Services is more favorable than Oceaneering International.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Superior Energy Services and Oceaneering International’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Superior Energy Services $1.45 billion 0.90 -$886.89 million ($2.81) -3.02
Oceaneering International $2.27 billion 0.80 $24.58 million ($0.19) -96.95

Oceaneering International has higher revenue and earnings than Superior Energy Services. Oceaneering International is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Superior Energy Services, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Superior Energy Services has a beta of 2.16, indicating that its share price is 116% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Oceaneering International has a beta of 1.63, indicating that its share price is 63% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Oceaneering International beats Superior Energy Services on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Superior Energy Services

Superior Energy Services, Inc. provides a range of services and products to the energy industry related to the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas. The Company’s segments include Drilling Products and Services, which rents and sells bottom hole assemblies, drill pipe, tubulars and specialized equipment for use with onshore and offshore oil and gas well drilling, production and workover activities; Onshore Completion and Workover Services, which provides pressure pumping services used to complete and stimulate production in new oil and gas wells, fluid handling services and well servicing rigs that provide a range of well completion and maintenance services; Production Services, which provides intervention services, such as coiled tubing, cased hole and mechanical wireline, hydraulic workover and snubbing, and remedial pumping services, and Technical Solutions, which provides services requiring specialized engineering, manufacturing or project planning.

About Oceaneering International

Oceaneering International, Inc. is an oilfield provider of engineered services and products, primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on deepwater applications. The Company’s business segments are contained within two businesses: services and products provided to the oil and gas industry (Oilfield) and all other services and products (Advanced Technologies). Its four business segments within the Oilfield business are Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), Subsea Products, Subsea Projects and Asset Integrity. The services and products it provides to the oil and gas industry include remotely operated vehicles, specialty subsea hardware, engineering and project management, subsea intervention services, including manned diving, survey and positioning services and asset integrity and nondestructive testing services. The Company serves the defense, aerospace and commercial theme park industries.

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