Reviewing Crestwood Equity Partners (NYSE:CEQP) and Sprague Resources (SRLP)

Crestwood Equity Partners (NYSE: CEQP) and Sprague Resources (NYSE:SRLP) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk and institutional ownership.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Crestwood Equity Partners and Sprague Resources’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Crestwood Equity Partners $3.06 billion 0.55 $311.60 million ($2.24) -10.80
Sprague Resources $2.62 billion 0.22 $105.38 million $2.03 12.88

Crestwood Equity Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Sprague Resources. Crestwood Equity Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sprague Resources, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Crestwood Equity Partners has a beta of 2.65, meaning that its stock price is 165% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sprague Resources has a beta of 1.39, meaning that its stock price is 39% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Crestwood Equity Partners and Sprague Resources, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Crestwood Equity Partners 0 0 4 0 3.00
Sprague Resources 0 0 2 0 3.00

Crestwood Equity Partners presently has a consensus target price of $28.00, indicating a potential upside of 15.70%. Sprague Resources has a consensus target price of $33.00, indicating a potential upside of 26.20%. Given Sprague Resources’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Sprague Resources is more favorable than Crestwood Equity Partners.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

64.0% of Crestwood Equity Partners shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 25.9% of Sprague Resources shares are held by institutional investors. 36.2% of Crestwood Equity Partners shares 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.

Profitability

This table compares Crestwood Equity Partners and Sprague Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Crestwood Equity Partners -4.68% -1.13% -0.49%
Sprague Resources 1.77% 29.64% 4.95%

Dividends

Crestwood Equity Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.9%. Sprague Resources pays an annual dividend of $2.43 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.3%. Crestwood Equity Partners pays out -107.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Sprague Resources pays out 119.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Sprague Resources has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years. Crestwood Equity Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

Crestwood Equity Partners beats Sprague Resources on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Crestwood Equity Partners Company Profile

Crestwood Equity Partners LP is a holding company and a master limited partnership (MLP). The Company develops, acquires, owns or controls, and operates assets and operations within the energy midstream sector. The Company’s segments include gathering and processing (G&P), which includes its natural gas, crude oil and produced water G&P operations; storage and transportation, which includes its natural gas and crude oil storage and transportation operations, and marketing, supply and logistics, which includes its natural gas liquid (NGL) supply and logistics business, crude oil storage and rail loading facilities and fleet, and salt production business. The Company provides infrastructure solutions to service natural gas and crude oil shale plays across the United States. It owns and operates a portfolio of crude oil and natural gas gathering, processing, storage and transportation assets. Its operating assets are owned by or through its subsidiary, Crestwood Midstream Partners LP.

Sprague Resources Company Profile

Sprague Resources LP is engaged in the purchase, storage, distribution and sale of refined products and natural gas, and provides storage and handling services for a range of materials. The Company operates through four segments: refined products, which purchases a range of refined products, such as heating oil, diesel fuel, residual fuel oil, asphalt, kerosene, jet fuel and gasoline from refining companies, trading organizations and producers; natural gas, which purchases natural gas from natural gas producers and trading companies, and sells and distributes natural gas to commercial and industrial customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States; materials handling, which offloads, stores and prepares for delivery a range of customer-owned products, including asphalt, clay slurry, coal and heavy equipment, and other operations, which include the purchase and distribution of coal, certain commercial trucking activities and the heating equipment service business.

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