Contrasting Consolidated Edison (ED) & United Utilities (UUGRY)

Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED) and United Utilities (OTCMKTS:UUGRY) are both utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings, valuation and risk.

Profitability

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This table compares Consolidated Edison and United Utilities’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Consolidated Edison 12.67% 8.51% 2.60%
United Utilities N/A N/A N/A

Insider and Institutional Ownership

56.6% of Consolidated Edison shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of Consolidated Edison shares are held by company 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.

Volatility & Risk

Consolidated Edison has a beta of 0.05, indicating that its stock price is 95% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Utilities has a beta of 0.58, indicating that its stock price is 42% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Consolidated Edison and United Utilities, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Consolidated Edison 4 6 1 0 1.73
United Utilities 0 4 2 0 2.33

Consolidated Edison currently has a consensus price target of $80.85, indicating a potential upside of 3.64%. Given Consolidated Edison’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Consolidated Edison is more favorable than United Utilities.

Dividends

Consolidated Edison pays an annual dividend of $2.86 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. United Utilities pays an annual dividend of $1.01 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.0%. Consolidated Edison pays out 69.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Consolidated Edison has increased its dividend for 43 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Consolidated Edison and United Utilities’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Consolidated Edison $12.03 billion 2.01 $1.53 billion $4.09 19.07
United Utilities $2.31 billion 2.98 $567.23 million N/A N/A

Consolidated Edison has higher revenue and earnings than United Utilities.

Summary

Consolidated Edison beats United Utilities on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Consolidated Edison

Consolidated Edison, Inc. (Con Edison) is a holding company. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, which include Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (CECONY), Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc. (the Clean Energy Businesses) and Con Edison Transmission, Inc. (Con Edison Transmission). CECONY’s principal business operations are its regulated electric, gas and steam delivery businesses. CECONY provides electricity, natural gas and steam to customers in New York City and Westchester County. O&R’s principal business operations are its regulated electric and gas delivery businesses. The Clean Energy Businesses develop, own and operate renewable and energy infrastructure projects and provide energy-related products and services to wholesale and retail customers. Con Edison Transmission, through its subsidiaries, invests in electric transmission facilities and gas pipeline and storage facilities.

About United Utilities

United Utilities Group PLC provides water and wastewater services in the United Kingdom. It is also involved in renewable energy generation, corporate trustee, and property management activities; and the provision of consulting and project management services. The company operates 43,000 kilometers (km) of pipes; 77,000 km of sewerage pipes; 567 wastewater treatment works; and 91 water treatment works. It serves 3 million households and 200,000 business customers. United Utilities Group PLC was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Warrington, the United Kingdom.

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