CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) and National Grid Transco, PLC (NYSE:NGG) are both large-cap multiline utilities – nec companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, valuation, profitability, risk and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares CenterPoint Energy and National Grid Transco, PLC’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CenterPoint Energy 6.59% 16.00% 2.58%
National Grid Transco, PLC N/A N/A N/A

Risk and Volatility

CenterPoint Energy has a beta of 0.64, suggesting that its share price is 36% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Grid Transco, PLC has a beta of 0.44, suggesting that its share price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

77.5% of CenterPoint Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 5.2% of National Grid Transco, PLC shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of CenterPoint Energy shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

CenterPoint Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.07 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. National Grid Transco, PLC pays an annual dividend of $2.89 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.9%. CenterPoint Energy pays out 77.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. National Grid Transco, PLC pays out 92.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. CenterPoint Energy has raised its dividend for 11 consecutive years.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares CenterPoint Energy and National Grid Transco, PLC’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CenterPoint Energy $7.53 billion 1.66 $432.00 million $1.38 21.04
National Grid Transco, PLC $18.62 billion 2.17 $10.19 billion $3.13 18.95

National Grid Transco, PLC has higher revenue and earnings than CenterPoint Energy. National Grid Transco, PLC is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than CenterPoint Energy, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for CenterPoint Energy and National Grid Transco, PLC, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CenterPoint Energy 0 7 0 0 2.00
National Grid Transco, PLC 2 4 7 0 2.38

CenterPoint Energy presently has a consensus target price of $29.29, indicating a potential upside of 0.88%. National Grid Transco, PLC has a consensus target price of $69.00, indicating a potential upside of 16.36%. Given National Grid Transco, PLC’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe National Grid Transco, PLC is more favorable than CenterPoint Energy.

CenterPoint Energy Company Profile

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is a public utility holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates electric transmission and distribution facilities, and natural gas distribution facilities. The Electric Transmission & Distribution segment provides electric transmission and distribution services to retail electric providers. Its Natural Gas Distribution segment offers intrastate natural gas sales to and natural gas transportation and distribution for residential, commercial and industrial customers. Its Energy Services segment includes non-rate regulated gas sales and transportation and storage services for commercial and industrial customers. Its Midstream Investments segment includes equity investment in Enable that owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil assets. Its Other Operations segment includes office buildings and other real estate used in its business operations and other corporate operations.

National Grid Transco, PLC Company Profile

National Grid plc is an electricity and gas utility company focused on transmission and distribution activities in electricity and gas in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The Company’s segments include UK Electricity Transmission, which is engaged in high voltage electricity transmission networks in Great Britain; UK Gas Transmission, which is the gas transmission network in Great Britain and United Kingdom liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage activities; UK Gas Distribution, which includes approximately four of the eight regional networks of Great Britain’s gas distribution system, and US Regulated, which includes gas distribution networks, electricity distribution networks and high voltage electricity transmission networks in New York, and New England and electricity generation facilities in New York. Its other activities relate to non-regulated businesses and other commercial operations not included within the above segments.

Receive News & Ratings for CenterPoint Energy Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for CenterPoint Energy Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.