Critical Review: Penn Virginia (PVAC) and Total (TOT)

Penn Virginia (NASDAQ:PVAC) and Total (NYSE:TOT) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, dividends, risk, earnings and valuation.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Penn Virginia and Total’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Penn Virginia $440.83 million 1.31 $224.79 million $9.19 4.16
Total $209.36 billion 0.64 $11.45 billion $5.05 10.58

Total has higher revenue and earnings than Penn Virginia. Penn Virginia is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Total, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Penn Virginia has a beta of 0.93, meaning that its stock price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Total has a beta of 0.63, meaning that its stock price is 37% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

99.3% of Penn Virginia shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 6.2% of Total shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of Penn Virginia shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Penn Virginia and Total’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Penn Virginia 37.49% 45.92% 15.31%
Total 5.65% 11.21% 5.18%


Total pays an annual dividend of $2.37 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.4%. Penn Virginia does not pay a dividend. Total pays out 46.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Total has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Penn Virginia and Total, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Penn Virginia 0 1 4 0 2.80
Total 0 3 14 0 2.82

Penn Virginia presently has a consensus price target of $95.00, suggesting a potential upside of 148.56%. Total has a consensus price target of $49.13, suggesting a potential downside of 8.09%. Given Penn Virginia’s higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Penn Virginia is more favorable than Total.


Penn Virginia beats Total on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Penn Virginia

Penn Virginia Corporation, an independent oil and gas company, engages in the onshore exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas in the United States. It primarily operates wells in the Eagle Ford Shale field in South Texas. As of December 31, 2018, it had total proved reserves of approximately 123 million barrels of oil equivalent; and 460 gross productive wells, as well as owned approximately 98,200 gross acres of leasehold and royalty interests. Penn Virginia Corporation was founded in 1882 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

About Total

TOTAL S.A. operates as an integrated oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Exploration & Production; Gas, Renewables & Power; Refining & Chemicals; and Marketing & Services. The Exploration & Production segment is involved in exploration and production activities in approximately 50 countries, and produces oil or gas in approximately 30 countries. The Gas, Renewables & Power segment engages in the liquefied natural gas(LNG) production, shipping, trading, and regasification activities; trading of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), petcoke and sulfur, and natural gas and electricity; transportation of natural gas; electricity production from natural gas, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and biogas sources; and energy storage activities. The Refining & Chemicals segment is involved in refining petrochemicals, including olefins and aromatics; and polymer derivatives, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and hydrocarbon resins, as well as biomass conversion and elastomer processing. It also engages in trading and shipping crude oil and petroleum products. The Marketing & Services segment produces and sells lubricants; and supplies and markets petroleum products, including bulk fuel, aviation fuel, special fluids, LPG, bitumen, heavy fuels, and marine bunkers. It operates approximately 14,000 service stations. As of December 31, 2018, the company had 12,050 Mboe of combined proved reserves of oil and gas. TOTAL S.A. has a strategic partnership with Tellurian to develop the Driftwood LNG project located in Louisiana. The company was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Courbevoie, France.

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