Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE: CLD) and Hallador Energy (NASDAQ:HNRG) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation and dividends.

Dividends

Hallador Energy pays an annual dividend of $0.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Cloud Peak Energy does not pay a dividend. Hallador Energy pays out 59.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

81.1% of Cloud Peak Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 57.9% of Hallador Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 2.5% of Cloud Peak Energy shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 55.7% of Hallador Energy shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cloud Peak Energy and Hallador Energy’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cloud Peak Energy $841.33 million 0.28 $118.87 million ($0.03) -105.63
Hallador Energy $264.18 million 0.61 $71.61 million $0.27 20.00

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

Risk and Volatility

Cloud Peak Energy has a beta of 1.42, indicating that its stock price is 42% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hallador Energy has a beta of -0.6, indicating that its stock price is 160% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Cloud Peak Energy and Hallador Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cloud Peak Energy -0.47% 0.54% 0.31%
Hallador Energy 3.13% 11.19% 4.67%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for Cloud Peak Energy and Hallador Energy, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cloud Peak Energy 0 7 2 0 2.22
Hallador Energy 0 0 1 0 3.00

Cloud Peak Energy presently has a consensus target price of $5.29, suggesting a potential upside of 66.74%. Hallador Energy has a consensus target price of $11.00, suggesting a potential upside of 103.70%. Given Hallador Energy’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Hallador Energy is more favorable than Cloud Peak Energy.

Summary

Hallador Energy beats Cloud Peak Energy on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cloud Peak Energy Company Profile

Cloud Peak Energy Inc. is a producer of coal in the United States of America and the Powder River Basin (PRB). In the PRB, the Company owns and operates three surface coal mines: the Antelope Mine, the Cordero Rojo Mine and the Spring Creek Mine. Its segments include Owned and Operated Mines, and Logistics and Related Activities. Its Owned and Operated Mines segment includes its Antelope Mine, Cordero Rojo Mine, and Spring Creek Mine. The Logistics and Related Activities segment includes the services it provides to its international and certain of its domestic customers where it delivers coal to the customer at a terminal or the customer’s plant or other delivery point, remote from its mine site. As of December 31, 2016, the Company also operated two development projects, both located in the Northern PRB: Youngs Creek Project and Big Metal Project. The Company’s Antelope Mine and Cordero Rojo Mine are located in Wyoming and its Spring Creek Mine is located in Montana.

Hallador Energy Company Profile

Hallador Energy Company is an oil and gas exploration company focused on developing coal reserves in the Illinois Basin. The Company, through its subsidiary, Sunrise Coal, LLC, is engaged in coal mining in the state of Indiana serving the electric power generation industry. Its projects include Carlisle Mine, Ace in the Hole Mine, Oaktown 1 Mine, Oaktown 2 Mine and Bulldog Mine. It develops over 10 million tons of coal annually and has customers in the mid-west and southeastern United States. It has over 40.6 million tons of the Indiana coal V seam. It also has over 69.3 million controlled tons in both Knox County, Indiana and Lawrence County, Illinois. Its Carlisle underground coal mine is located near the town of Carlisle, Indiana in Sullivan County. The Ace mine is located approximately 40 miles northeast of the Carlisle Mine. Its Bulldog Mine controls over 35.8 million tons of coal reserves.

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