Financial Comparison: Ultra Petroleum (NASDAQ:UPL) vs. EP Energy (NASDAQ:EPEGQ)

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Ultra Petroleum (NASDAQ:UPL) and EP Energy (OTCMKTS:EPEGQ) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk, earnings, dividends and valuation.

Volatility and Risk

Ultra Petroleum has a beta of -0.05, indicating that its share price is 105% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, EP Energy has a beta of 3.57, indicating that its share price is 257% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ultra Petroleum and EP Energy’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ultra Petroleum $892.50 million 0.03 $85.21 million $0.76 0.18
EP Energy $1.32 billion 0.00 -$1.00 billion ($0.25) -0.04

Ultra Petroleum has higher earnings, but lower revenue than EP Energy. EP Energy is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ultra Petroleum, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Ultra Petroleum and EP Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ultra Petroleum 8.35% -11.65% 7.11%
EP Energy -154.93% N/A -4.16%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

71.5% of Ultra Petroleum shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.0% of EP Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.8% of Ultra Petroleum shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of EP Energy shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Ultra Petroleum and EP Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ultra Petroleum 0 1 0 0 2.00
EP Energy 0 0 0 0 N/A

Ultra Petroleum presently has a consensus target price of $1.00, indicating a potential upside of 640.74%. Given Ultra Petroleum’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Ultra Petroleum is more favorable than EP Energy.

Summary

Ultra Petroleum beats EP Energy on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ultra Petroleum

Ultra Petroleum Corp., an independent oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, operation, and production of oil and natural gas properties. Its principal business activities are developing its natural gas reserves in the Green River Basin of southwest Wyoming?the Pinedale and Jonah fields. As of December 31, 2018, the company owned interests in approximately 114,000 gross acres in Wyoming. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado.

About EP Energy

EP Energy Corporation, an independent exploration and production company, engages in the acquisition and development of unconventional onshore oil and natural gas properties in the United States. Its assets are located primarily in three areas, such as the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas; Northeastern Utah in the Uinta basin; and the Permian basin in West Texas. As of December 31, 2018, EP Energy Corporation had proved reserves of 324.5 million barrels of oil equivalent; and had average net daily production of 80,654 barrel of oil equivalent per day. The company primarily sells its oil and natural gas production to third parties. EP Energy Corporation was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas. On October 3, 2019, EP Energy Corporation, along with its affiliates, filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.

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