Comparing PDC Energy (PDCE) & Comstock Resources (CRK)

PDC Energy (NASDAQ: PDCE) and Comstock Resources (NYSE:CRK) are both energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for PDC Energy and Comstock Resources, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PDC Energy 0 7 14 0 2.67
Comstock Resources 1 2 3 0 2.33

PDC Energy presently has a consensus price target of $67.56, indicating a potential upside of 33.77%. Comstock Resources has a consensus price target of $11.75, indicating a potential upside of 76.96%. Given Comstock Resources’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Comstock Resources is more favorable than PDC Energy.

Risk & Volatility

PDC Energy has a beta of 0.68, suggesting that its share price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Comstock Resources has a beta of -0.3, suggesting that its share price is 130% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

53.8% of Comstock Resources shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of PDC Energy shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.6% of Comstock Resources shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares PDC Energy and Comstock Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PDC Energy -29.31% 0.94% 0.54%
Comstock Resources -53.79% N/A -9.98%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares PDC Energy and Comstock Resources’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PDC Energy $382.92 million 8.69 -$245.92 million ($4.06) -12.44
Comstock Resources $175.71 million 0.58 -$135.13 million ($8.91) -0.75

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

Summary

PDC Energy beats Comstock Resources on 9 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About PDC Energy

PDC Energy, Inc. is an independent exploration and production company. The Company produces, develops, acquires and explores for crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) with operations in the Wattenberg Field in Colorado and the Utica Shale in southeastern Ohio. The Company operates through two segments: Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, and Gas Marketing. The Company’s Oil and Gas Exploration and Production segment includes all of its crude oil and natural gas properties. The Company’s Gas Marketing segment purchases, aggregates and resells natural gas. The Company’s operations in the Wattenberg Field are focused on the horizontal Niobrara and Codell plays. Its Delaware Basin operations are focused in the Wolfcamp zones and its Ohio operations are focused in the Utica Shale play. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned an interest in approximately 2,900 productive gross wells.

About Comstock Resources

Comstock Resources, Inc. is an energy company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in the United States. The Company operates in the segment of exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The Company’s oil and gas operations are concentrated in Texas and Louisiana. Its operations are focused in two operating areas: East Texas/North Louisiana and South Texas. The Company’s properties in the East Texas/North Louisiana region include approximately 80,660 acres in the Haynesville or Bossier shale formations. The Company’s Eagleville field includes approximately 30,220 acres located in the oil window of the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas. The Company owns interests in over 1,575 producing oil and natural gas wells, and operates over 950 of these wells. The Company owns interests in over 20 wells in the Rosita field, located in Duval County, Texas.

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