Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) and UIL (NYSE:UIL) are both utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, risk, valuation, profitability, institutional ownership and dividends.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Xcel Energy and UIL’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Xcel Energy $11.11 billion 1.98 $1.12 billion $2.26 19.18
UIL N/A N/A N/A $2.12 23.63

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

73.6% of Xcel Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of Xcel Energy shares are owned 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Xcel Energy and UIL, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Xcel Energy 0 8 3 0 2.27
UIL 0 0 0 0 N/A

Xcel Energy currently has a consensus price target of $48.55, indicating a potential upside of 11.98%. Given Xcel Energy’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Xcel Energy is more favorable than UIL.

Dividends

Xcel Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. UIL does not pay a dividend. Xcel Energy pays out 63.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. UIL has increased its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Xcel Energy and UIL’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Xcel Energy 10.40% 10.63% 2.85%
UIL 4.73% 4.50% 1.21%

Summary

Xcel Energy beats UIL on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy Inc. is a public utility holding company. The Company’s operations include the activity of four utility subsidiaries that serve electric and natural gas customers in eight states. The Company’s segments include regulated electric utility, regulated natural gas utility and all other. The Company’s utility subsidiaries include NSP-Minnesota, NSP-Wisconsin, Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo) and Southwestern Public Service Co. (SPS), which serve customers in portions of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. Along with WYCO Development LLC (WYCO), a joint venture formed with Colorado Interstate Gas Company, LLC (CIG) to develop and lease natural gas pipelines storage and compression facilities, and WestGas InterState, Inc. (WGI), an interstate natural gas pipeline company, these companies comprise the regulated utility operations.

About UIL

UIL Holdings Corporation (UIL Holdings) is engaged in the ownership of its operating regulated utility businesses. The utility businesses consist of the electric distribution and transmission operations of The United Illuminating Company (UI) and the natural gas transportation, distribution and sales operations of The Southern Connecticut Gas Company (SCG), Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG) and The Berkshire Gas Company. The Company operates in two segments: Electric Distribution and Transmission, which is engaged in purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity for residential, commercial and industrial purposes, and Gas Distribution, which is engaged in natural gas transportation, distribution and sales operations.

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