Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED) and IDACORP (NYSE:IDA) are both mid-cap utilities companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, earnings, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Consolidated Edison and IDACORP, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Consolidated Edison 4 4 0 0 1.50
IDACORP 0 2 0 0 2.00

Consolidated Edison currently has a consensus price target of $77.31, suggesting a potential downside of 6.94%. IDACORP has a consensus price target of $75.00, suggesting a potential downside of 16.98%. Given Consolidated Edison’s higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Consolidated Edison is more favorable than IDACORP.

Dividends

Consolidated Edison pays an annual dividend of $2.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. IDACORP pays an annual dividend of $2.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Consolidated Edison pays out 66.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. IDACORP pays out 55.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Consolidated Edison has raised its dividend for 42 consecutive years and IDACORP has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Consolidated Edison is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Consolidated Edison and IDACORP’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Consolidated Edison 10.57% 8.59% 2.56%
IDACORP 15.31% 9.20% 3.20%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Consolidated Edison and IDACORP’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Consolidated Edison $11.99 billion 2.12 $3.79 billion $4.14 20.07
IDACORP $1.30 billion 3.50 $438.95 million $3.96 22.81

Consolidated Edison has higher revenue and earnings than IDACORP. Consolidated Edison is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than IDACORP, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

55.1% of Consolidated Edison shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 76.0% of IDACORP shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of Consolidated Edison shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.7% of IDACORP shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Consolidated Edison has a beta of 0.09, suggesting that its stock price is 91% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, IDACORP has a beta of 0.5, suggesting that its stock price is 50% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

IDACORP beats Consolidated Edison on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Consolidated Edison Company Profile

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.

IDACORP Company Profile

IDACORP, Inc. is a holding company. The Company’s principal operating subsidiary is Idaho Power Company (Idaho Power). The Company’s segment is utility operations. The utility operations segment’s primary source of revenue is the regulated operations of Idaho Power. Idaho Power is an electric utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution, sale and purchase of electric energy and capacity. Idaho Power is the parent of Idaho Energy Resources Co. (IERCo), a joint venturer in Bridger Coal Company, which mines and supplies coal to the Jim Bridger generating plant owned in part by Idaho Power. Its subsidiaries also include IDACORP Financial Services, Inc., an investor in affordable housing and other real estate investments, and Ida-West Energy Company, an operator of small hydroelectric generation projects. As of December 31, 2016, Idaho Power provided electric utility service to approximately 535,000 general business customers in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

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