Head-To-Head Analysis: Artesian Resources (ARTNA) & American States Water (AWR)

Artesian Resources (NASDAQ: ARTNA) and American States Water (NYSE:AWR) are both utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, earnings, dividends and profitability.

Profitability

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This table compares Artesian Resources and American States Water’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Artesian Resources 17.00% 10.36% 3.13%
American States Water 15.74% 13.50% 4.77%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

38.8% of Artesian Resources shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.2% of American States Water shares are owned by institutional investors. 20.6% of Artesian Resources shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.5% of American States Water shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Artesian Resources has a beta of 0.17, suggesting that its stock price is 83% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American States Water has a beta of 0.41, suggesting that its stock price is 59% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Artesian Resources and American States Water, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Artesian Resources 0 1 0 0 2.00
American States Water 1 1 0 0 1.50

Artesian Resources presently has a consensus price target of $41.00, indicating a potential upside of 14.49%. American States Water has a consensus price target of $48.00, indicating a potential downside of 8.22%. Given Artesian Resources’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Artesian Resources is more favorable than American States Water.

Dividends

Artesian Resources pays an annual dividend of $0.94 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. American States Water pays an annual dividend of $1.02 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Artesian Resources pays out 62.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. American States Water pays out 54.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. American States Water has increased its dividend for 63 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Artesian Resources and American States Water’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Artesian Resources $82.24 million 4.00 $13.98 million $1.51 23.72
American States Water $440.60 million 4.36 $69.36 million $1.88 27.82

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

Summary

American States Water beats Artesian Resources on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Artesian Resources

Artesian Resources Corporation is a holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries offer water, wastewater and other services on the Delmarva Peninsula. The Company distributes and sells water, including water for public and private fire protection, to residential, commercial, industrial, municipal and utility customers in the states of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Company also provides wastewater services to customers in Delaware. In addition, the Company provides contract water and wastewater operations, and water, sewer and internal Service Line Protection Plans. As of December 31, 2016, the Company was the holding company of five regulated public utilities: Artesian Water Company, Inc., Artesian Water Pennsylvania, Inc., Artesian Water Maryland, Inc., Artesian Wastewater Management, Inc. and Artesian Wastewater Maryland, Inc., and three non-regulated subsidiaries: Artesian Utility Development, Inc., Artesian Development Corporation and Artesian Consulting Engineers, Inc.

About American States Water

American States Water Company, through its subsidiaries, provides water and electric services to residential, industrial, and other customers in the United States. It operates through three segments: Water, Electric, and Contracted Services. The company purchases, produces, distributes, and sells water, as well as distributes electricity. As of February 26, 2018, it provided water service to approximately 259,000 customers located throughout 10 counties in Northern, Coastal, and Southern California; and distributed electricity to 24,000 customers in the City of Big Bear and surrounding areas in San Bernardino County, California. The company also provides water and/or wastewater services, including the operation, maintenance, and construction of facilities at the water and/or wastewater systems at various military installations. American States Water Company was founded in 1929 and is based in San Dimas, California.

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