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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

74.0% of Xcel Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of Xcel Energy shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


Xcel Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. ATCO does not pay a dividend. Xcel Energy has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for ATCO and Xcel Energy, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
ATCO 0 0 0 0 N/A
Xcel Energy 0 5 5 0 2.50

Xcel Energy has a consensus price target of $47.80, suggesting a potential upside of 5.01%. Given Xcel Energy’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Xcel Energy is more favorable than ATCO.

Earnings and Valuation

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

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Xcel Energy $11.40 billion 2.03 $1.15 billion N/A N/A

Xcel Energy has higher revenue and earnings than ATCO.


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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Xcel Energy 10.06% 10.44% 2.80%


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

About ATCO

ATCO Ltd. is engaged in structures and logistics, utilities, energy and technologies business. It operates through the following segments: Structures & Logistics, Electricity, Pipelines & Liquids, and Corporate & Other. The Structures & Logistics segment includes ATCO Structures & Logistics. This segment offers workforce housing, modular facilities, site support services and logistics and operations management. The Electricity segment includes ATCO Electric, ATCO Power, Alberta PowerLine, and ATCO Power Australia. Together these businesses provide electricity generation, transmission, distribution and related infrastructure solutions in Western Alberta, Ontario, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Australia and Mexico. The Pipelines & Liquids segment includes ATCO Gas, ATCO Pipelines, ATCO Gas Australia, ATCO Energy Solutions and ATCO Pipelines Mexico. These businesses provide integrated natural gas transmission, distribution and storage, industrial water solutions and related infrastructure development throughout Alberta, the Lloydminster area of Saskatchewan, Western Australia and Mexico. The Corporate & Other segment includes commercial real estate owned by the company in Alberta and ATCO Energy, a retail electricity and natural gas business in Alberta. The company was founded by S. D. Southern and Ronald D. Southern on February 14, 1947 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

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.

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