Athlon Energy (NYSE: ATHL) and EP Energy Corporation (NYSE:EPE) are both oil & gas exploration and production – nec companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and risk.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

70.1% of EP Energy Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of EP Energy Corporation 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Athlon Energy and EP Energy Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Athlon Energy 0 0 0 0 N/A
EP Energy Corporation 7 5 0 0 1.42

EP Energy Corporation has a consensus target price of $3.67, indicating a potential upside of 37.84%. Given EP Energy Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe EP Energy Corporation is more favorable than Athlon Energy.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Athlon Energy and EP Energy Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Athlon Energy N/A N/A N/A $0.57 102.61
EP Energy Corporation $767.00 million 0.89 -$27.00 million ($1.07) -2.49

Athlon Energy has higher revenue, but lower earnings than EP Energy Corporation. EP Energy Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Athlon Energy, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


This table compares Athlon Energy and EP Energy Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Athlon Energy N/A N/A N/A
EP Energy Corporation -25.44% -8.50% -0.97%

Athlon Energy Company Profile

Athlon Energy Inc., is an independent exploration and production company. The Company is a holding company and its sole assets are controlling equity interests in Athlon Holdings LP and its subsidiaries. The Company is focused on the acquisition, development and exploitation of unconventional oil and liquids-rich natural gas reserves in the Permian Basin. The Permian Basin spans portions of Texas and New Mexico and consists of three primary sub-basins: the Delaware Basin, the Central Basin Platform and the Midland Basin. The Company’s properties are located in the Midland Basin. In February 2014, Athlon Energy Inc announced that subsidiary, Athlon Holdings LP completed the acquisition of certain oil and natural gas properties and related assets in the Midland Basin of West Texas.

EP Energy Corporation Company Profile

EP Energy Corporation (EP Energy) is an independent exploration and production company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition and development of unconventional onshore oil and natural gas properties in the United States. The Company operates through a base of producing assets. It is involved in the development of its drilling inventory located in three areas: the Eagle Ford Shale (South Texas), the Wolfcamp Shale (Permian Basin in West Texas) and the Altamont Field in the Uinta Basin (Northeastern Utah). As of December 31, 2016, in its operating areas, the Company had identified 5,156 drilling locations (including 639 drilling locations to which it has attributed proved undeveloped reserves). As of December 31, 2016, the Company had proved reserves of 432.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe) and an average net daily production of 87,641 barrel of oil equivalent per day (Boe/d).

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