Reviewing Murphy USA (MUSA) & Ultrapar Participacoes (UGP)

Murphy USA (NYSE: MUSA) and Ultrapar Participacoes (NYSE:UGP) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, earnings and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Murphy USA and Ultrapar Participacoes, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Murphy USA 0 3 1 0 2.25
Ultrapar Participacoes 1 2 0 0 1.67

Murphy USA currently has a consensus target price of $83.33, suggesting a potential upside of 20.15%. Given Murphy USA’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Murphy USA is more favorable than Ultrapar Participacoes.

Profitability

This table compares Murphy USA and Ultrapar Participacoes’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Murphy USA 1.15% 20.19% 6.78%
Ultrapar Participacoes 1.86% 16.88% 6.42%

Risk and Volatility

Murphy USA has a beta of 0.68, suggesting that its stock price is 32% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ultrapar Participacoes has a beta of 1.12, suggesting that its stock price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Ultrapar Participacoes pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Murphy USA does not pay a dividend. Ultrapar Participacoes pays out 65.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

97.9% of Murphy USA shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 4.3% of Ultrapar Participacoes shares are held by institutional investors. 7.3% of Murphy USA shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Murphy USA and Ultrapar Participacoes’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Murphy USA $10.32 billion 0.24 $367.97 million $3.73 18.60
Ultrapar Participacoes $24.48 billion 0.50 $1.28 billion $0.80 27.90

Ultrapar Participacoes has higher revenue and earnings than Murphy USA. Murphy USA is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ultrapar Participacoes, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Murphy USA beats Ultrapar Participacoes on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Murphy USA

Murphy USA Inc. is engaged in the marketing of retail motor fuel products and merchandise through a chain of retail stores. The Company operates through the Marketing segment. The Marketing segment includes its retail marketing sites and product supply, and wholesale assets. As of December 31, 2016, its retail stores were located in 26 states, primarily in the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest the United States. Out of the total 1,401 stores, 1,152 were branded Murphy USA and 249 were Murphy Express locations, as of December 31, 2016. Its retail stores under the brand name Murphy USA participate in the Walmart discount program. The Walmart discount program offers a cents-off per gallon purchased for fuel when using specific payment methods as decided by Walmart and the Company. Its business also includes product supply and wholesale assets, including product distribution terminals and pipeline positions.

About Ultrapar Participacoes

Ultrapar Participacoes SA is a Brazil-based company primarily engaged in the automotive fuel retail. The Company operates in five segments: Gas distribution (Ultragaz), which distributes liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to residential, commercial and industrial consumers in the South, Southeast and Northeast regions of Brazil; Fuel distribution (Ipiranga), which operates the distribution and marketing of gasoline, ethanol, diesel, fuel oil, kerosene, natural gas for vehicles and lubricants, as well as provides related activities across the Brazilian territory; Chemicals (Oxiteno), which produces ethylene oxide, as well as its primary derivatives and fatty alcohols; Storage (Ultracargo), which operates liquid bulk terminals, primarily in the Southeast and Northeast regions of Brazil, and Drugstores (Extrafarma), which trades pharmaceutical, hygiene and beauty products through its drugstore chain in the states of Para and Piaui, among others.

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