NuStar Energy (NYSE: NS) and Noble Midstream Partners (NYSE:NBLX) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Dividends

NuStar Energy pays an annual dividend of $4.38 per share and has a dividend yield of 20.4%. Noble Midstream Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.95 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.4%. NuStar Energy pays out 684.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Noble Midstream Partners pays out 47.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

59.7% of NuStar Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.1% of Noble Midstream Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 4.1% of NuStar Energy shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for NuStar Energy and Noble Midstream Partners, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NuStar Energy 0 8 1 0 2.11
Noble Midstream Partners 0 0 7 0 3.00

NuStar Energy presently has a consensus price target of $26.88, suggesting a potential upside of 25.23%. Noble Midstream Partners has a consensus price target of $58.71, suggesting a potential upside of 33.17%. Given Noble Midstream Partners’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Noble Midstream Partners is more favorable than NuStar Energy.

Volatility and Risk

NuStar Energy has a beta of 1.46, indicating that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Noble Midstream Partners has a beta of 1.84, indicating that its stock price is 84% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares NuStar Energy and Noble Midstream Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NuStar Energy $1.81 billion 1.10 $147.96 million $0.64 33.53
Noble Midstream Partners $239.28 million 7.31 $140.57 million $4.10 10.75

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

Profitability

This table compares NuStar Energy and Noble Midstream Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NuStar Energy 8.16% 7.82% 2.44%
Noble Midstream Partners 58.40% 34.74% 22.71%

Summary

Noble Midstream Partners beats NuStar Energy on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

NuStar Energy Company Profile

NuStar Energy L.P. is engaged in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia; the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, and the marketing of petroleum products. The Company’s segments include pipeline, storage and fuels marketing. The pipeline segment consists of the transportation of refined petroleum products, crude oil and anhydrous ammonia. The storage segment consists of facilities that provide storage, handling and other services for petroleum products, crude oil, specialty chemicals and other liquids. The fuels marketing segment involve the purchase of crude oil, fuel oil, bunker fuel, fuel oil blending components and other refined products for resale. It conducts its operations through its subsidiaries, primarily NuStar Logistics, L.P. and NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership L.P. As of May 4, 2017, it had more than 9,200 miles of pipeline and 81 terminal and storage facilities that provide approximately 96 million barrels of storage capacity.

Noble Midstream Partners Company Profile

Noble Midstream Partners LP owns, operates, develops, and acquires midstream infrastructure assets in the United States. The company provides crude oil, natural gas, and water-related midstream services. The company operates in the Denver-Julesburg Basin in Colorado and the Delaware Basin in Texas. The company was founded in 2014 and is based in Houston, Texas. Noble Midstream Partners LP is a subsidiary of Noble Energy, Inc.

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