Great Plains Energy (NYSE: GXP) and Vistra Energy Corp. (NYSE:VST) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Great Plains Energy and Vistra Energy Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Great Plains Energy 9.50% 6.52% 2.19%
Vistra Energy Corp. N/A N/A N/A

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Great Plains Energy and Vistra Energy Corp., as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Great Plains Energy 0 2 6 0 2.75
Vistra Energy Corp. 0 1 2 0 2.67

Great Plains Energy currently has a consensus target price of $31.71, indicating a potential upside of 1.58%. Vistra Energy Corp. has a consensus target price of $19.33, indicating a potential upside of 16.05%. Given Vistra Energy Corp.’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Vistra Energy Corp. is more favorable than Great Plains Energy.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

88.0% of Great Plains Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.5% of Vistra Energy Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of Great Plains Energy shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Great Plains Energy and Vistra Energy Corp.’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Great Plains Energy $2.67 billion 2.52 $1.12 billion $1.34 23.30
Vistra Energy Corp. $5.47 billion 1.30 $1.35 billion N/A N/A

Vistra Energy Corp. has higher revenue and earnings than Great Plains Energy.

Dividends

Great Plains Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Vistra Energy Corp. pays an annual dividend of $2.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 13.9%. Great Plains Energy pays out 82.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Vistra Energy Corp. has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Vistra Energy Corp. is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Great Plains Energy beats Vistra Energy Corp. on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Great Plains Energy Company Profile

Great Plains Energy Incorporated (Great Plains Energy) is a utility holding company. The Company operates through electric utility segment. The Company’s subsidiaries with operations include Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO). KCP&L is an integrated, regulated electric utility that provides electricity to customers primarily in the states of Missouri and Kansas. Kansas City Power & Light Receivables Company (KCP&L Receivables Company) is the KCP&L’s subsidiary. GMO is an integrated, regulated electric utility that provides electricity to customers in the state of Missouri. GMO also provides regulated steam service to certain customers in the St. Joseph, Missouri area. GMO’s subsidiaries include GMO Receivables Company and MPS Merchant Services, Inc. (MPS Merchant). As of December 31, 2016, electric utility had approximately 6,500 megawatts (MWs) of owned generating capacity.

Vistra Energy Corp. Company Profile

Vistra Energy Corp, formerly TCEH Corp. is a holding company. The Company is an energy company, which is focused on energy and power generation markets through operation as a generator and retailer of electricity in Texas market. Its portfolio of businesses consists primarily of Luminant and TXU Energy. It is engaged in electricity market activities in Texas, including electricity generation, wholesale energy sales and purchases, commodity risk management activities and retail electricity operations. Luminant generates and sells electricity and related products from its fleet of generation facilities totaling approximately 17,000 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 megawatts fueled by nuclear power, 8,000 megawatts fueled by coal and 6,000 megawatts fueled by natural gas. The Company is a purchaser of wind-generated electricity. TXU Energy sells retail electricity and services to approximately 1.7 million residential and business customers in Texas.

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