Contrasting Western Gas Partners (WES) and USA Compression Partners (USAC)

Western Gas Partners (NYSE:WES) and USA Compression Partners (NYSE:USAC) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitability, risk and dividends.

Risk & Volatility

Western Gas Partners has a beta of 1.28, meaning that its stock price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, USA Compression Partners has a beta of 1.18, meaning that its stock price is 18% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

59.8% of Western Gas Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 42.2% of USA Compression Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.0% of Western Gas Partners shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Western Gas Partners pays an annual dividend of $3.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.8%. USA Compression Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 12.8%. Western Gas Partners pays out 292.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. USA Compression Partners pays out 1,312.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Western Gas Partners has raised its dividend for 10 consecutive years.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Western Gas Partners and USA Compression Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Western Gas Partners $2.25 billion 2.92 $567.48 million $1.30 33.08
USA Compression Partners $280.22 million 5.26 $11.44 million $0.16 102.50

Western Gas Partners has higher revenue and earnings than USA Compression Partners. Western Gas Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than USA Compression Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Western Gas Partners and USA Compression Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Western Gas Partners 22.80% 12.18% 5.68%
USA Compression Partners -0.72% 2.24% 0.84%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Western Gas Partners and USA Compression Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Western Gas Partners 0 7 6 0 2.46
USA Compression Partners 0 2 4 0 2.67

Western Gas Partners currently has a consensus target price of $53.92, suggesting a potential upside of 25.40%. USA Compression Partners has a consensus target price of $20.67, suggesting a potential upside of 26.02%. Given USA Compression Partners’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe USA Compression Partners is more favorable than Western Gas Partners.

Summary

Western Gas Partners beats USA Compression Partners on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Western Gas Partners Company Profile

Western Gas Partners, LP acquires, develops, owns, and operates midstream energy assets in the Rocky Mountains, North-central Pennsylvania, and Texas. It is involved in gathering, processing, compressing, treating, and transporting natural gas, condensate, natural gas liquids, and crude oil. Western Gas Holdings, LLC serves as the general partner of Western Gas Partners, LP. The company was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas. Western Gas Partners LP is a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

USA Compression Partners Company Profile

USA Compression Partners, LP provides compression services under term contracts with customers in the natural gas and crude oil industries in the United States. The company engineers, designs, operates, services, and repairs its compression units; and maintains related support inventory and equipment. It also provides compression services in various shale plays, including the Utica, Marcellus, Permian Basin, Delaware Basin, Eagle Ford, Mississippi Lime, Granite Wash, Woodford, Barnett, Haynesville, Niobrara, and Fayetteville shales. As of December 31, 2017, the company had approximately 1,799,781 horsepower in its fleet. It serves oil companies; and independent producers, processors, gatherers, and transporters of natural gas and crude oil. USA Compression GP, LLC operates as the general partner of USA Compression Partners, LP. The company was formerly known as Compression Holdings, LP, and changed its name to USA Compression Partners, LP in June 2011. USA Compression Partners, LP was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

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