Targa Resources (NYSE: TRGP) and Buckeye Partners L.P. (NYSE:BPL) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, profitability, institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Profitability

This table compares Targa Resources and Buckeye Partners L.P.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Targa Resources -2.92% -0.64% -0.29%
Buckeye Partners L.P. 14.42% 11.04% 5.29%

Risk and Volatility

Targa Resources has a beta of 2.22, meaning that its stock price is 122% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Buckeye Partners L.P. has a beta of 1.14, meaning that its stock price is 14% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Targa Resources pays an annual dividend of $3.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.8%. Buckeye Partners L.P. pays an annual dividend of $5.05 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.1%. Targa Resources pays out -183.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Buckeye Partners L.P. pays out 138.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Targa Resources has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years and Buckeye Partners L.P. has increased its dividend for 14 consecutive years. Buckeye Partners L.P. is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Targa Resources and Buckeye Partners L.P., as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Targa Resources 0 5 10 1 2.75
Buckeye Partners L.P. 0 8 1 0 2.11

Targa Resources presently has a consensus target price of $54.53, indicating a potential upside of 16.13%. Buckeye Partners L.P. has a consensus target price of $70.78, indicating a potential upside of 26.84%. Given Buckeye Partners L.P.’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Buckeye Partners L.P. is more favorable than Targa Resources.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Targa Resources and Buckeye Partners L.P.’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Targa Resources $7.65 billion 1.32 $1.02 billion ($1.98) -23.72
Buckeye Partners L.P. $3.47 billion 2.27 $979.66 million $3.65 15.29

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.4% of Targa Resources shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 68.8% of Buckeye Partners L.P. shares are held by institutional investors. 1.9% of Targa Resources shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Buckeye Partners L.P. shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Targa Resources beats Buckeye Partners L.P. on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Targa Resources

Targa Resources Corp. is a midstream energy company in North America. It provides midstream services. Its segments include Gathering and Processing, and Logistics and Marketing (Downstream Business). It is engaged in the business of gathering, compressing, treating, processing and selling natural gas; storing, fractionating, treating, transporting and selling natural gas liquids (NGLs) and NGL products, including services to liquefied petroleum gas exporters; gathering, storing and terminalling crude oil, and storing, terminalling and selling refined petroleum products. The Gathering and Processing segment consists of gathering, compressing, dehydrating, treating, conditioning, processing, and marketing natural gas and gathering crude oil. The Logistics and Marketing segment includes all the activities necessary to convert mixed NGLs into NGL products and provides certain services, such as storing, fractionating, terminalling, transporting and marketing of NGLs and NGL products.

About Buckeye Partners L.P.

Buckeye Partners, L.P. (Buckeye) owns and operates a network of integrated assets providing midstream logistic solutions, primarily consisting of the transportation, storage, processing and marketing of liquid petroleum products. Its segments include Domestic Pipelines & Terminals, Global Marine Terminals and Merchant Services. As of December 31, 2016, the Domestic Pipelines & Terminals segment owned and operated approximately 6,000 miles of pipeline located primarily in the northeastern and upper Midwestern portions of the United States, and serviced approximately 110 delivery locations. The Global Marine Terminals segment provides marine accessible bulk storage and blending services, rail and truck rack loading/unloading, along with petroleum processing services in the East Coast and Gulf Coast regions of the United States and in the Caribbean. The Merchant Services segment is a wholesale distributor of petroleum products in the continental United States and in the Caribbean.

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