Corning Natural Gas (OTCMKTS:CNIG) and Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE:CPK) are both small-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, profitability, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership and risk.

Volatility and Risk

Corning Natural Gas has a beta of 0.29, suggesting that its share price is 71% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Chesapeake Utilities has a beta of 0.09, suggesting that its share price is 91% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Corning Natural Gas pays an annual dividend of $0.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Chesapeake Utilities pays an annual dividend of $1.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Chesapeake Utilities pays out 51.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Chesapeake Utilities has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Corning Natural Gas and Chesapeake Utilities, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Corning Natural Gas 0 0 0 0 N/A
Chesapeake Utilities 0 2 2 0 2.50

Chesapeake Utilities has a consensus price target of $87.00, indicating a potential upside of 5.28%. Given Chesapeake Utilities’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Chesapeake Utilities is more favorable than Corning Natural Gas.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Corning Natural Gas and Chesapeake Utilities’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Corning Natural Gas $30.04 million 1.91 $2.10 million N/A N/A
Chesapeake Utilities $617.58 million 2.19 $58.12 million $2.89 28.60

Chesapeake Utilities has higher revenue and earnings than Corning Natural Gas.

Profitability

This table compares Corning Natural Gas and Chesapeake Utilities’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Corning Natural Gas 7.18% 8.15% 2.49%
Chesapeake Utilities 9.68% 10.75% 3.73%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

4.3% of Corning Natural Gas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 63.7% of Chesapeake Utilities shares are held by institutional investors. 30.5% of Corning Natural Gas shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.2% of Chesapeake Utilities 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

Chesapeake Utilities beats Corning Natural Gas on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Corning Natural Gas Company Profile

Corning Natural Gas Holding Corporation, through its subsidiaries, distributes natural gas and electricity. The company offers natural gas to approximately 15,000 customers through approximately 425 miles of distribution main and 86 regulating stations; and electricity to approximately 4,600 customers through approximately 160 miles of electric distribution wire and poles, and 21 miles of gas distribution pipe. It also transports and compresses gas for a gas producer from its gathering network into an interstate pipeline. The company serves residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in the Corning, Hammondsport, and Virgil areas, as well as in Pike county; and distributes to two other gas utilities that serve the Elmira and Bath areas of New York. Corning Natural Gas Holding Corporation was founded in 1904 and is headquartered in Corning, New York.

Chesapeake Utilities Company Profile

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a diversified energy company, engages in regulated and unregulated energy businesses. The company operates in two segments, Regulated Energy and Unregulated Energy. The Regulated Energy segment engages in the distribution of natural gas in Delaware, Maryland, and Florida; distribution of electricity in Florida; and transmission of natural gas on the Delmarva Peninsula and in Florida. The Unregulated Energy segment distributes propane in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, southeastern Pennsylvania, and Florida; markets natural gas in Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and other states; supplies, gathers, and processes unregulated natural gas in central and eastern Ohio; and generates electricity and steam. This segment also provides other unregulated energy services, such as energy-related merchandise sales; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services; and plumbing and electrical services. The company also owns and leases office buildings in Delaware and Maryland. It serves residential, commercial, industrial, and wholesale customers. The company was founded in 1859 and is headquartered in Dover, Delaware.

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