Enel Chile (NYSE:ENIC) and Southern (NYSE:SO) are both utilities companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, risk, dividends, profitability, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Enel Chile and Southern, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Enel Chile 0 0 0 0 N/A
Southern 3 10 1 0 1.86

Southern has a consensus target price of $63.54, indicating a potential upside of 29.57%. Given Southern’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Southern is more favorable than Enel Chile.

Profitability

This table compares Enel Chile and Southern’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Enel Chile N/A N/A N/A
Southern 22.20% 10.38% 2.80%

Risk & Volatility

Enel Chile has a beta of 0.61, suggesting that its stock price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Southern has a beta of 0.38, suggesting that its stock price is 62% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

4.6% of Enel Chile shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 60.0% of Southern shares are held by institutional investors. 0.9% of Southern shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Enel Chile and Southern’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Enel Chile $3.88 billion 0.82 $414.62 million N/A N/A
Southern $21.42 billion 2.41 $4.75 billion $3.11 15.77

Southern has higher revenue and earnings than Enel Chile.

Dividends

Enel Chile pays an annual dividend of $0.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Southern pays an annual dividend of $2.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.1%. Southern pays out 79.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Enel Chile has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years and Southern has increased its dividend for 18 consecutive years. Southern is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Southern beats Enel Chile on 13 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Enel Chile

Enel Chile S.A., an electricity utility company, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in Chile. The company operates through Generation Business and Distribution Business segments. It transmits and distributes electricity in 33 municipalities of the Santiago metropolitan region. As of December 31, 2016, the company had 6,351 megawatts of installed capacity with 111 generation units, including 38 hydroelectric, 22 thermal, and 51 wind powered generation units. It distributed electricity to approximately 1.8 million customers, including residential, commercial, industrial, governmental, and toll customers. The company also provides consulting, management, administration, and contract operation services related to information systems, technological information, telecommunications, and control systems in South America; and develops real estate projects in Chile. The company was formerly known as Enersis Chile S.A. and changed its name to Enel Chile S.A. in November 2016. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Santiago, Chile. Enel Chile S.A. is a subsidiary of Enel Iberoamérica S.R.L.

About Southern

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations. It owns and/or operates 33 hydroelectric generating stations, 26 fossil fuel generating stations, 3 nuclear generating stations, 13 combined cycle/cogeneration stations, 40 solar facilities, 9 wind facilities, and 1 biomass facility; and constructs, operates, and maintains 75,200 miles of natural gas pipelines and 14 storage facilities with total capacity of 158 Bcf to provide natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The company serves approximately 9 million electric and gas utility customers. It also provides products and services in the areas of distributed generation infrastructure, energy efficiency, and utility infrastructure. In addition, the company offers digital wireless communications services with various communication options, including push to talk, cellular service, text messaging, wireless Internet access, and wireless data. The Southern Company was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

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