Comparing Alliant Energy (LNT) & IDACORP (IDA)

Alliant Energy (NYSE: LNT) and IDACORP (NYSE:IDA) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, dividends and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Alliant Energy and IDACORP’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alliant Energy 13.13% 11.02% 3.22%
IDACORP 15.46% 9.44% 3.29%

Dividends

Alliant Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.26 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. IDACORP pays an annual dividend of $2.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Alliant Energy pays out 67.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. IDACORP pays out 57.4% 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. Alliant Energy has increased its dividend for 12 consecutive years and IDACORP has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Alliant Energy is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Alliant Energy and IDACORP, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alliant Energy 0 6 0 0 2.00
IDACORP 1 1 0 0 1.50

Alliant Energy currently has a consensus price target of $42.20, indicating a potential upside of 6.75%. IDACORP has a consensus price target of $85.00, indicating a potential upside of 2.02%. Given Alliant Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Alliant Energy is more favorable than IDACORP.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Alliant Energy and IDACORP’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alliant Energy $3.32 billion 2.75 $381.70 million $1.86 21.25
IDACORP $1.26 billion 3.33 $198.28 million $4.11 20.27

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

68.5% of Alliant Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.5% of IDACORP shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.3% of Alliant Energy shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of IDACORP shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Alliant Energy has a beta of 0.46, suggesting that its share price is 54% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, IDACORP has a beta of 0.55, suggesting that its share price is 45% less volatile than the S&P 500.

About Alliant Energy

Alliant Energy Corporation operates as a regulated investor-owned public utility holding company. The Company’s segments include Utility and Non-regulated, Parent and Other. The Utility segment includes the operations of Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL) and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), which serve retail customers in Iowa and Wisconsin. The Utility segment includes utility electric operations, utility gas operations and utility other, which includes steam operations and the unallocated portions of the utility business. Its Non-regulated, Parent and Other segment includes the operations of Alliant Energy Resources, LLC and its subsidiaries; Alliant Energy Corporate Services, Inc. (Corporate Services); the Alliant Energy parent company, and any Alliant Energy parent company consolidating adjustments. IPL and WPL own a portfolio of electric generating units located in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with a fuel mix, including coal, natural gas and renewable resources.

About IDACORP

IDACORP, Inc. is a holding company. The Company’s principal operating subsidiary is Idaho Power Company (Idaho Power). The Company’s segment is utility operations. The utility operations segment’s primary source of revenue is the regulated operations of Idaho Power. Idaho Power is an electric utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution, sale and purchase of electric energy and capacity. Idaho Power is the parent of Idaho Energy Resources Co. (IERCo), a joint venturer in Bridger Coal Company, which mines and supplies coal to the Jim Bridger generating plant owned in part by Idaho Power. Its subsidiaries also include IDACORP Financial Services, Inc., an investor in affordable housing and other real estate investments, and Ida-West Energy Company, an operator of small hydroelectric generation projects. As of December 31, 2016, Idaho Power provided electric utility service to approximately 535,000 general business customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

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