Reviewing Ecopetrol (EC) and Its Peers

Ecopetrol (NYSE: EC) is one of 23 public companies in the “Integrated Oil & Gas” industry, but how does it contrast to its competitors? We will compare Ecopetrol to related businesses based on the strength of its earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends and risk.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

2.2% of Ecopetrol shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 40.0% of shares of all “Integrated Oil & Gas” companies are owned by institutional investors. 9.8% of shares of all “Integrated Oil & Gas” companies are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Ecopetrol pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Ecopetrol pays out 36.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Integrated Oil & Gas” companies pay a dividend yield of 2.9% and pay out 191.5% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Ecopetrol and its competitors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ecopetrol 5.04% 3.60% 1.34%
Ecopetrol Competitors -6.22% 2.46% 1.18%

Valuation and Earnings

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

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Ecopetrol $17.94 billion $6.95 billion 24.98
Ecopetrol Competitors $52.35 billion $11.11 billion -12.69

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Ecopetrol and its competitors, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ecopetrol 0 4 2 0 2.33
Ecopetrol Competitors 216 653 772 31 2.37

Ecopetrol presently has a consensus target price of $10.00, suggesting a potential downside of 9.01%. As a group, “Integrated Oil & Gas” companies have a potential upside of 36.77%. Given Ecopetrol’s competitors stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Ecopetrol has less favorable growth aspects than its competitors.

Volatility & Risk

Ecopetrol has a beta of 1.04, suggesting that its stock price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ecopetrol’s competitors have a beta of 1.39, suggesting that their average stock price is 39% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Ecopetrol competitors beat Ecopetrol on 10 of the 15 factors compared.

About Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol S.A. is an oil company. The Company operates in Colombia, Peru, Brazil and the United States Gulf Coast. The Company’s segments include Exploration and Production, Transportation and Logistics, and Refining, Petrochemicals and Biofuels. The Company’s Exploration and Production segment includes exploration, development and production activities in Colombia and abroad. The Company’s Transportation and Logistics segment includes the transportation of crude oil, motor fuels, fuel oil and other refined products, including diesel and biofuels. The Company’s main crude oil pipeline systems’ operating capacity is approximately 1.34 million barrels per day (BPD). The Company’s main refineries are the Barrancabermeja refinery, which it directly owns and operates, and a refinery in the Free Trade Zone in Cartagena that is operated by Reficar S.A., a subsidiary of the Company. The Company also owns and operates two other minor refineries: Orito and Apiay.

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