Tellurian (NASDAQ: TELL) and WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX) are both mid-cap energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.

Volatility and Risk

Tellurian has a beta of 1.06, indicating that its stock price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, WPX Energy has a beta of 2.46, indicating that its stock price is 146% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Tellurian and WPX Energy, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Tellurian 0 0 3 0 3.00
WPX Energy 0 2 15 0 2.88

Tellurian currently has a consensus price target of $14.50, suggesting a potential upside of 27.64%. WPX Energy has a consensus price target of $15.97, suggesting a potential upside of 10.91%. Given Tellurian’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Tellurian is more favorable than WPX Energy.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Tellurian and WPX Energy’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Tellurian $4.46 million 570.55 -$520,000.00 ($1.30) -8.74
WPX Energy $693.00 million 8.27 -$601.00 million ($0.49) -29.39

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

9.3% of Tellurian shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.8% of WPX Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 48.3% of Tellurian shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.4% of WPX Energy shares 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.

Profitability

This table compares Tellurian and WPX Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Tellurian N/A -87.03% -73.62%
WPX Energy -12.65% -5.20% -2.54%

About Tellurian

Tellurian Inc., formerly Magellan Petroleum Corporation, is an oil and gas exploration and production company. The Company focuses on the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects along the United States Gulf Coast through its subsidiary, Tellurian Investments Inc. The Company owns interests in the Horse Hill-1 well and related licenses in the Weald Basin, onshore the United Kingdom, and an exploration block, NT/P82, in the Bonaparte Basin, offshore Northern Territory, Australia. The Horse Hill-1 well has identified prospects from the Portland sandstone and Kimmeridge Clay limestone formations.

About WPX Energy

WPX Energy, Inc. is an oil and natural gas exploration and production company. The Company is engaged in the exploitation and development of unconventional properties. It operates in the exploration and production segment of the oil and gas industry and its operations are conducted in the United States. It is focused on exploiting, developing and growing its oil positions in the Delaware (a subset of the Permian Basin) and San Juan Basins in the southwestern United States and the Williston Basin in North Dakota. As of December 31, 2016, it operated 642 wells in the Delaware Basin and also owned interests in 783 wells operated by others. As of December 31, 2016, it held approximately 98,000 acres in the Delaware Basin, with operations located in Eddy, Lea and Chaves Counties in New Mexico and Loving, Pecos, Reeves, Ward and Winkler Counties in Texas. Its activity in the Delaware Basin is focused on the Wolfcamp Shale formation, the Bone Spring interval and the Delaware sand interval.

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