Financial Survey: National Fuel Gas (NFG) versus The Competition

National Fuel Gas (NYSE: NFG) is one of 24 public companies in the “UTIL-GAS DISTR” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare National Fuel Gas to related businesses based on the strength of its risk, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings and valuation.

Dividends

National Fuel Gas pays an annual dividend of $1.66 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. National Fuel Gas pays out 50.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “UTIL-GAS DISTR” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.9% and pay out 59.9% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. National Fuel Gas has increased its dividend for 47 consecutive years. National Fuel Gas is clearly a better dividend stock than its peers, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for National Fuel Gas and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National Fuel Gas 0 2 2 0 2.50
National Fuel Gas Competitors 161 594 476 17 2.28

National Fuel Gas presently has a consensus target price of $60.50, suggesting a potential upside of 17.59%. As a group, “UTIL-GAS DISTR” companies have a potential upside of 4.54%. Given National Fuel Gas’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe National Fuel Gas is more favorable than its peers.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares National Fuel Gas and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
National Fuel Gas $1.58 billion $283.48 million 15.59
National Fuel Gas Competitors $4.81 billion $275.75 million 19.31

National Fuel Gas’ peers have higher revenue, but lower earnings than National Fuel Gas. National Fuel Gas is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

71.6% of National Fuel Gas shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.6% of shares of all “UTIL-GAS DISTR” companies are owned by institutional investors. 2.6% of National Fuel Gas shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 4.7% of shares of all “UTIL-GAS DISTR” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

National Fuel Gas has a beta of 0.96, meaning that its share price is 4% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Fuel Gas’ peers have a beta of 0.64, meaning that their average share price is 36% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares National Fuel Gas and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National Fuel Gas 24.93% 16.36% 4.79%
National Fuel Gas Competitors 5.66% -4.14% 3.79%

Summary

National Fuel Gas beats its peers on 11 of the 15 factors compared.

About National Fuel Gas

National Fuel Gas Company is a holding company. The Company is an energy company engaged principally in the production, gathering, transportation, distribution and marketing of natural gas. The Company operates in five business segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Gathering, Utility, and Energy Marketing. The Company operates an integrated business, with assets centered in western New York and Pennsylvania, and the production and transportation of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale basin. The Company also develops and produces oil reserves, primarily in California. The Company’s Exploration and Production segment operations are carried out by Seneca Resources Corporation (Seneca), a Pennsylvania corporation. The Company’s National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation (Supply Corporation), a Pennsylvania corporation, and Empire Pipeline, Inc. (Empire), a New York corporation, carry out the Company’s Pipeline and Storage segment operations.

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