CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) and Avista Corporation (NYSE:AVA) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, valuation and profitabiliy.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares CenterPoint Energy and Avista Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CenterPoint Energy $8.28 billion 1.50 $2.08 billion $1.07 26.99
Avista Corporation $1.46 billion 1.96 $477.96 million $2.20 20.18

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

Volatility and Risk

CenterPoint Energy has a beta of 0.62, indicating that its stock price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Avista Corporation has a beta of 0.39, indicating that its stock price is 61% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

77.6% of CenterPoint Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 70.2% of Avista Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of CenterPoint Energy shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Avista Corporation 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.

Profitability

This table compares CenterPoint Energy and Avista Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CenterPoint Energy 5.68% 15.20% 2.45%
Avista Corporation 9.70% 8.61% 2.71%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for CenterPoint Energy and Avista Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CenterPoint Energy 1 7 2 0 2.10
Avista Corporation 0 4 0 0 2.00

CenterPoint Energy currently has a consensus price target of $26.86, suggesting a potential downside of 7.00%. Avista Corporation has a consensus price target of $38.67, suggesting a potential downside of 12.91%. Given CenterPoint Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe CenterPoint Energy is more favorable than Avista Corporation.

Dividends

CenterPoint Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.07 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. Avista Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.43 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. CenterPoint Energy pays out 100.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Avista Corporation pays out 65.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. CenterPoint Energy has raised its dividend for 11 consecutive years and Avista Corporation has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Summary

CenterPoint Energy beats Avista Corporation on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is a public utility holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates electric transmission and distribution facilities, and natural gas distribution facilities. The Electric Transmission & Distribution segment provides electric transmission and distribution services to retail electric providers. Its Natural Gas Distribution segment offers intrastate natural gas sales to and natural gas transportation and distribution for residential, commercial and industrial customers. Its Energy Services segment includes non-rate regulated gas sales and transportation and storage services for commercial and industrial customers. Its Midstream Investments segment includes equity investment in Enable that owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil assets. Its Other Operations segment includes office buildings and other real estate used in its business operations and other corporate operations.

About Avista Corporation

Avista Corporation is an electric and natural gas utility company. The Company operates through two segments: Avista Utilities, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Company (AEL&P). The Company’s regional services include government and higher education, medical services, retail trade and finance. The Company’s businesses also include sheet metal fabrication, venture fund investments, real estate investments, a company that explores markets that could be served with liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as certain other investments of Avista Capital, which is a subsidiary of the Company. Avista Utilities is an operating division of the Company, which consists of its regulated utility operations in the Pacific Northwest. Avista Utilities division generates, transmits and distributes electricity, and distributes natural gas. As of December 31, 2016, AEL&P operated five hydroelectric generation facilities with 102.7 megawatts (MW) of hydroelectric generation capacity.

Receive News & Ratings for CenterPoint Energy Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for CenterPoint Energy Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.