Head to Head Review: Korea Electric Power (KEP) & NorthWestern (NWE)

Korea Electric Power (NYSE: KEP) and NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, profitability, risk, earnings and institutional ownership.

Volatility & Risk

Korea Electric Power has a beta of 0.37, meaning that its stock price is 63% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, NorthWestern has a beta of 0.22, meaning that its stock price is 78% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Korea Electric Power and NorthWestern’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Korea Electric Power $51.76 billion 0.38 $6.34 billion $2.16 7.16
NorthWestern $1.31 billion 1.98 $162.70 million $3.34 15.65

Korea Electric Power has higher revenue and earnings than NorthWestern. Korea Electric Power is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than NorthWestern, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Korea Electric Power and NorthWestern, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Korea Electric Power 1 6 2 0 2.11
NorthWestern 3 2 0 0 1.40

NorthWestern has a consensus target price of $54.75, suggesting a potential upside of 4.74%. Given NorthWestern’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe NorthWestern is more favorable than Korea Electric Power.

Dividends

NorthWestern pays an annual dividend of $2.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.0%. Korea Electric Power does not pay a dividend. NorthWestern pays out 62.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. NorthWestern has raised its dividend for 9 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

4.9% of Korea Electric Power shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.0% of NorthWestern shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Korea Electric Power shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.3% of NorthWestern shares are held 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.

Profitability

This table compares Korea Electric Power and NorthWestern’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Korea Electric Power 5.15% 4.19% 1.72%
NorthWestern 12.46% 9.33% 2.93%

Summary

NorthWestern beats Korea Electric Power on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Korea Electric Power Company Profile

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) is an integrated electric utility company engaged in the transmission and distribution of electricity in the Republic of Korea. Its segments include transmission and distribution, nuclear power generation and thermal power generation and all others . The transmission and distribution segment, which is operated by KEPCO, comprise operations related to the transmission, distribution and sale to end-users of electricity. The nuclear power generation segment, which is engaged in the nuclear, hydro, pumping-up power generation. The thermal power generation segment, which is engaged in bituminous coal, anthracite, liquefied natural gas (LNG) power generation. And the Other Segment comprises operations related to the plant design, power generation equipment assembly, nuclear raw materials supplement, electricity IT service, renewable source power generation and financial investment on overseas businesses.

NorthWestern Company Profile

NorthWestern Corporation, doing business as North-Western Energy, provides electricity and natural gas. The Company’s segments are Electric operations, Natural gas operations and All other. As of December 31, 2016, the Company provided electricity and natural gas to approximately 709,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. It generates and distributes electricity in South Dakota; distributes natural gas in South Dakota and Nebraska, and generates and distributes electricity and distributes natural gas in Montana. Its regulated electric utility business in Montana includes generation, transmission and distribution. As of December 31, 2016, it provided retail electricity in 110 communities in South Dakota. Its regulated natural gas utility business in Montana includes production, storage, transmission and distribution. As of December 31, 2016, it provided natural gas to approximately 88,500 customers in 60 South Dakota communities and four Nebraska communities.

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