Markwest Energy Partners (NYSE: MWE) and Targa Resources Partners (NYSE:NGLS) are both mid-cap oil & gas refining and marketing – nec companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Markwest Energy Partners and Targa Resources Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Markwest Energy Partners 10.37% 2.42% 1.71%
Targa Resources Partners 3.27% 0.29% 1.61%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Markwest Energy Partners and Targa Resources Partners’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Markwest Energy Partners N/A N/A N/A ($0.26) -160.19
Targa Resources Partners N/A N/A N/A $0.78 13.65

Markwest Energy Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Targa Resources Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Markwest Energy Partners and Targa Resources Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Markwest Energy Partners 0 0 0 0 N/A
Targa Resources Partners 0 0 0 0 N/A

Dividends

Targa Resources Partners pays an annual dividend of $3.30 per share and has a dividend yield of 31.0%. Markwest Energy Partners does not pay a dividend. Targa Resources Partners pays out 423.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Markwest Energy Partners has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years and Targa Resources Partners has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Markwest Energy Partners Company Profile

MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. (MarkWest) is a master limited partnership engaged in the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas; the gathering, transportation, fractionation, storage and marketing of natural gas liquids (NGLs), and the gathering and transportation of crude oil. The Company operates in four segments: Marcellus, Utica, Northeast and Southwest. The Marcellus segment provides integrated natural gas midstream services in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. The Company’s MarkWest Utica EMG provides gathering, processing, fractionation and marketing services. The Northeast segment assets include the Kenova, Boldman, Cobb, Kermit and Langley natural gas processing complexes, an NGL pipeline and the Siloam fractionation facility. The Company owns a system that consists of natural gas gathering pipelines, centralized compressor stations, two natural gas processing complexes and two NGL pipelines.

Targa Resources Partners Company Profile

Targa Resources Partners LP is a provider of midstream natural gas and natural gas liquid (NGL) services in the United States with a presence in crude oil gathering and petroleum terminaling. The Company is engaged in the business of gathering, compressing, treating, processing and selling natural gas; storing, fractionating, treating, transporting and selling NGLs and NGL products, including services to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exporters; gathering, storing and terminaling crude oil, and storing, terminaling and selling refined petroleum products. The Company operates in two divisions: Gathering and Processing, and Logistics and Marketing. The Gathering and Processing division consists of two segments: Field Gathering and Processing, and Coastal Gathering and Processing. The Logistics and Marketing division consists of two segments: Logistics Assets and Marketing and Distribution.

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