Spire (SR) and The Competition Critical Review

Spire (NYSE: SR) is one of 24 publicly-traded companies in the “UTIL-GAS DISTR” industry, but how does it contrast to its rivals? We will compare Spire to related companies based on the strength of its dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

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This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Spire and its rivals, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Spire 2 2 3 0 2.14
Spire Competitors 161 594 476 17 2.28

Spire currently has a consensus price target of $69.00, suggesting a potential downside of 4.56%. As a group, “UTIL-GAS DISTR” companies have a potential upside of 6.26%. Given Spire’s rivals stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Spire has less favorable growth aspects than its rivals.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

82.9% of Spire shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 65.6% of shares of all “UTIL-GAS DISTR” companies are held by institutional investors. 3.0% of Spire shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.7% of shares of all “UTIL-GAS DISTR” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Spire has a beta of 0.14, suggesting that its stock price is 86% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Spire’s rivals have a beta of 0.64, suggesting that their average stock price is 36% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Spire and its rivals gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
Spire $1.74 billion $161.60 million 20.31
Spire Competitors $4.81 billion $275.75 million 19.31

Spire’s rivals have higher revenue and earnings than Spire. Spire is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its rivals, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Dividends

Spire pays an annual dividend of $2.25 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. Spire pays out 63.2% 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.

Profitability

This table compares Spire and its rivals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Spire 12.86% 8.91% 2.76%
Spire Competitors 5.66% -4.14% 3.79%

Summary

Spire rivals beat Spire on 10 of the 15 factors compared.

Spire Company Profile

Spire Inc., formerly The Laclede Group, Inc., is engaged to transform its business and pursue growth by growing its gas utility business through prudent investment in infrastructure upgrades and organic growth initiatives; acquire and integrate gas utilities; modernize its gas assets, and invest in innovation. The Company has two business segments, which include gas utility and gas marketing. The gas utility segment includes the regulated operations of Laclede Gas Company (Laclede Gas), Alabama Gas Corporation (Alagasco) and EnergySouth, Inc. (EnergySouth). The gas marketing segment includes Laclede Energy Resources, Inc. (LER), a subsidiary engaged in the marketing of natural gas and related activities on a non-regulated basis. Laclede Gas is engaged in the purchase, retail distribution and sale of natural gas, serving residential, commercial and industrial customers, through Missouri Gas Energy (MGE), Kansas City and western Missouri.

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