Apache (NYSE: APA) and Petroquest Energy (NYSE:PQ) are both energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, dividends, earnings and risk.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Apache and Petroquest Energy’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Apache $5.35 billion 3.05 -$1.41 billion $1.74 24.66
Petroquest Energy $66.67 million 0.56 -$90.89 million ($0.99) -1.79

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

Dividends

Apache pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Petroquest Energy does not pay a dividend. Apache pays out 57.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Petroquest Energy has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Apache and Petroquest Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Apache 8.21% 3.63% 1.90%
Petroquest Energy -17.75% N/A -10.55%

Volatility and Risk

Apache has a beta of 1.05, suggesting that its stock price is 5% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Petroquest Energy has a beta of 1.93, suggesting that its stock price is 93% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Apache and Petroquest Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Apache 7 9 2 0 1.72
Petroquest Energy 0 2 1 0 2.33

Apache currently has a consensus price target of $45.38, indicating a potential upside of 5.74%. Petroquest Energy has a consensus price target of $3.50, indicating a potential upside of 97.74%. Given Petroquest Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Petroquest Energy is more favorable than Apache.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

94.6% of Apache shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 38.0% of Petroquest Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.5% of Apache shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 10.4% of Petroquest Energy shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Apache beats Petroquest Energy on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Apache Company Profile

Apache Corporation is an independent energy company. The Company explores for, develops, and produces natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. The Company’s production segments include: the United States, Egypt and the United Kingdom North Sea. It also pursues exploration interests in Suriname. In North America, the Company has three onshore regions: The Permian region, The Midcontinent/Gulf Coast region. The Permian region located in West Texas and New Mexico includes the Permian sub-basins, the Midland Basin, Central Basin Platform/Northwest Shelf and Delaware Basin. The Midcontinent/Gulf Coast region includes the Granite Wash, Tonkawa, Canyon Lime, Marmaton, and Cleveland formations of the West Anadarko Basin, the Woodford-SCOOP and Stack plays located in Central Oklahoma, and the Eagle Ford shale in South East Texas.

Petroquest Energy Company Profile

PetroQuest Energy, Inc. is an oil and gas company. The Company is engaged in exploratory, development and acquisition activities. The Company has approximately 30 gross exploratory wells and over 30 gross development wells. The Company has reserves in various areas, including East Texas, Gulf Coast Basin and Oklahoma Woodford. Its annual production from East Texas area is approximately 114.1 billions of cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe); Gulf Coast Basin is over 43.9 Bcfe, and Oklahoma Woodford is approximately 20.0 Bcfe. The net production from its East Texas assets averages over 30.4 millions of cubic feet equivalent (MMcfe) per day. Production from Gulf Coast Basin area totals approximately 37.8 MMcfe per day. The average daily production from its Oklahoma-Woodford properties totals over 25 MMcfe per day. The Company sells its oil and natural gas production under fixed or floating market contracts.

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