Bellatrix Exploration (NYSE: BXE) and Unit (NYSE:UNT) are both small-cap energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and risk.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

40.0% of Bellatrix Exploration shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.2% of Unit shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.3% of Unit shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Bellatrix Exploration and Unit’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Bellatrix Exploration -21.02% -1.66% -0.98%
Unit 4.28% 2.33% 1.14%

Volatility & Risk

Bellatrix Exploration has a beta of 1.47, indicating that its share price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Unit has a beta of 2.9, indicating that its share price is 190% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Bellatrix Exploration and Unit, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Bellatrix Exploration 2 4 1 0 1.86
Unit 0 3 2 0 2.40

Bellatrix Exploration presently has a consensus price target of $3.41, suggesting a potential upside of 125.99%. Unit has a consensus price target of $25.00, suggesting a potential downside of 1.81%. Given Bellatrix Exploration’s higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Bellatrix Exploration is more favorable than Unit.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Bellatrix Exploration and Unit’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Bellatrix Exploration $172.08 million 0.43 -$20.13 million $0.43 3.51
Unit $602.18 million 2.24 -$135.62 million $0.58 43.90

Bellatrix Exploration has higher earnings, but lower revenue than Unit. Bellatrix Exploration is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Unit, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Unit beats Bellatrix Exploration on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Bellatrix Exploration Company Profile

Bellatrix Exploration Ltd. is an oil and gas exploration company engaged in the exploration for, and the acquisition, development and production of oil and natural gas reserves in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The Company’s properties include Ferrier, Willesden Green, Greater Pembina, Strachan and Harmattan. Ferrier is located over 30 kilometers northwest of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. The Ferrier and Alder Flats areas produce natural gas and natural gas liquids from the Belly River, Cardium, Notikewin, Falher and Rock Creek zones at depths ranging from 1,800 to 2,700 meters. The Willesden Green area is located approximately 40 kilometers north of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Pembina is located over 20 kilometers west of Drayton Valley, Alberta. Strachan is located approximately 10 kilometers south of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Harmattan is located approximately 80 kilometers northwest of Calgary near the town of Sundre, Alberta.

Unit Company Profile

Unit Corporation is an oil and natural gas contract drilling company. The Company has operations in the exploration and production and mid-stream areas. The Company operates through three segments: Oil and Natural Gas, Contract Drilling and Mid-Stream. It is primarily engaged in the exploration, development, acquisition, and production of oil and natural gas properties, the land contract drilling of natural gas and oil wells, and the buying, selling, gathering, processing and treating of natural gas. Its Oil and Natural Gas operations are carried out by its subsidiary Unit Petroleum Company. Contract Drilling operations are carried out by its subsidiary Unit Drilling Company. Its drills onshore oil and natural gas wells for its own account, as well as for other oil and natural gas companies. Its Mid-Stream operations are carried out by its subsidiary Superior Pipeline Company, L.L.C. Its mid-stream operations consist of buying, selling, gathering, processing and treating natural gas.

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