Critical Survey: CNOOC (CEO) vs. Continental Resources (CLR)

CNOOC (NYSE:CEO) and Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) are both large-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation and risk.


This table compares CNOOC and Continental Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Continental Resources 20.99% 18.28% 7.17%

Volatility & Risk

CNOOC has a beta of 1.09, meaning that its share price is 9% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Continental Resources has a beta of 1.46, meaning that its share price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares CNOOC and Continental Resources’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CNOOC $26.88 billion 3.10 $7.96 billion $17.06 10.95
Continental Resources $4.71 billion 3.90 $988.31 million $2.84 17.21

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

1.9% of CNOOC shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 21.5% of Continental Resources shares are held by institutional investors. 76.8% of Continental Resources shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


CNOOC pays an annual dividend of $6.85 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. Continental Resources does not pay a dividend. CNOOC pays out 40.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. CNOOC has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for CNOOC and Continental Resources, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CNOOC 0 2 2 0 2.50
Continental Resources 0 5 31 0 2.86

Continental Resources has a consensus target price of $64.96, indicating a potential upside of 32.90%. Given Continental Resources’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Continental Resources is more favorable than CNOOC.


Continental Resources beats CNOOC on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.


CNOOC Limited, an investment holding company, explores for, develops, produces, and sells crude oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products. It operates through Exploration and Production, and Trading Business segments. The company produces offshore crude oil and natural gas primarily in Bohai, Western South China Sea, Eastern South China Sea, and East China Sea in offshore China. It also holds interests in various oil and gas assets in Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Oceania, and Europe. As of December 31, 2017, the company had net proved reserves of approximately 4.84 billion barrels-of-oil equivalent. In addition, it is involved in the issuance of bonds. The company was incorporated in 1999 and is based in Central, Hong Kong. CNOOC Limited is a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

About Continental Resources

Continental Resources, Inc. explores for, develops, and produces crude oil and natural gas properties primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States. The company sells its crude oil and natural gas production to energy marketing companies, crude oil refining companies, and natural gas gathering and processing companies. As of December 31, 2018, its proved reserves were 1,522 million barrels of crude oil equivalent (MMBoe) with estimated proved developed reserves of 675 MMBoe. Continental Resources, Inc. was founded in 1967 and is based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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