TransMontaigne Partners L.P. (NYSE: TLP) and Nustar GP Holdings (NYSE:NSH) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, profitabiliy and earnings.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares TransMontaigne Partners L.P. and Nustar GP Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
TransMontaigne Partners L.P. $169.15 million 3.94 $78.82 million $2.35 17.54
Nustar GP Holdings $57.19 million 17.54 $54.98 million $1.28 18.24

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. has higher revenue and earnings than Nustar GP Holdings. TransMontaigne Partners L.P. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Nustar GP Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares TransMontaigne Partners L.P. and Nustar GP Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
TransMontaigne Partners L.P. 25.71% 11.66% 6.38%
Nustar GP Holdings 96.84% 22.15% 19.72%

Dividends

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. pays an annual dividend of $2.90 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.0%. Nustar GP Holdings pays an annual dividend of $2.18 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.3%. TransMontaigne Partners L.P. pays out 123.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Nustar GP Holdings pays out 170.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Nustar GP Holdings has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Nustar GP Holdings is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

61.7% of TransMontaigne Partners L.P. shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 56.0% of Nustar GP Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 20.4% of TransMontaigne Partners L.P. shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 21.4% of Nustar GP Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations for TransMontaigne Partners L.P. and Nustar GP Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
TransMontaigne Partners L.P. 0 1 3 0 2.75
Nustar GP Holdings 1 5 1 0 2.00

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. presently has a consensus target price of $49.25, suggesting a potential upside of 19.45%. Nustar GP Holdings has a consensus target price of $28.00, suggesting a potential upside of 19.91%. Given Nustar GP Holdings’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Nustar GP Holdings is more favorable than TransMontaigne Partners L.P..

Volatility & Risk

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. has a beta of 0.31, meaning that its share price is 69% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Nustar GP Holdings has a beta of 1.14, meaning that its share price is 14% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Nustar GP Holdings beats TransMontaigne Partners L.P. on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About TransMontaigne Partners L.P.

TransMontaigne Partners L.P. is a terminaling and transportation company with operations in the United States along the Gulf Coast, in the Midwest, in Houston and Brownsville, Texas, along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and in the Southeast. The Company operates its business in five principal business segments: Gulf Coast terminals, Midwest terminals and pipeline system, Brownsville terminals, River terminals and Southeast terminals. It provides integrated terminaling, storage, transportation and related services for companies engaged in the trading, distribution and marketing of light refined petroleum products, heavy refined petroleum products, crude oil, chemicals, fertilizers and other liquid products. It is controlled by its general partner, TransMontaigne GP, which is an indirect subsidiary of ArcLight Energy Partners Fund VI, L.P. (ArcLight). The Company uses its terminaling facilities to, among other things, store the refined products in its tanks for its customers.

About Nustar GP Holdings

NuStar GP Holdings, LLC holds interests in NuStar Energy L.P. (NuStar Energy). NuStar Energy is engaged in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, the terminalling and storage of petroleum products and the marketing of petroleum products. NuStar Energy has terminal and storage facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, including St. Eustatius in the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom. The Company manages NuStar Energy through its ownership of NuStar GP, LLC and Riverwalk Holdings, LLC, which own Riverwalk Logistics L.P., the general partner of NuStar Energy.

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