Critical Review: Helix Energy Solutions Group (HLX) & Matrix Service (MTRX)

Matrix Service (NASDAQ: MTRX) and Helix Energy Solutions Group (NYSE:HLX) are both small-cap energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends, valuation and profitability.


This table compares Matrix Service and Helix Energy Solutions Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Matrix Service -0.59% -1.97% -1.12%
Helix Energy Solutions Group 5.17% -1.42% -0.91%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Matrix Service and Helix Energy Solutions Group, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Matrix Service 0 2 0 0 2.00
Helix Energy Solutions Group 1 1 5 0 2.57

Helix Energy Solutions Group has a consensus price target of $8.40, indicating a potential upside of 38.84%. Given Helix Energy Solutions Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Helix Energy Solutions Group is more favorable than Matrix Service.

Volatility & Risk

Matrix Service has a beta of 0.81, indicating that its share price is 19% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Helix Energy Solutions Group has a beta of 2.54, indicating that its share price is 154% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Matrix Service and Helix Energy Solutions Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Matrix Service $1.20 billion 0.35 -$180,000.00 ($0.20) -77.75
Helix Energy Solutions Group $581.38 million 1.54 $30.05 million $0.21 28.81

Helix Energy Solutions Group has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Matrix Service. Matrix Service is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Helix Energy Solutions Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

91.5% of Matrix Service shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.9% of Helix Energy Solutions Group shares are held by institutional investors. 2.5% of Matrix Service shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.7% of Helix Energy Solutions Group shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


Helix Energy Solutions Group beats Matrix Service on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Matrix Service

Matrix Service Company provides engineering, fabrication, infrastructure, construction and maintenance services primarily to the oil, gas, power, petrochemical, industrial, mining and minerals markets. The Company’s segments include Electrical Infrastructure, Oil Gas & Chemical, Storage Solutions and Industrial. The Electrical Infrastructure segment primarily includes construction and maintenance services to a range of power generation facilities, such as combined cycle plants, natural gas fired power stations and renewable energy installations. The Oil Gas & Chemical segment includes turnaround activities, plant maintenance services and construction in the downstream petroleum industry. The Storage Solutions segment includes new construction of crude and refined products aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), as well as planned and emergency maintenance services. The Industrial segment includes construction and maintenance work in the iron and steel and mining and minerals industries.

About Helix Energy Solutions Group

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. is an international offshore energy services company. The Company provides services to the offshore energy industry, with a focus on well intervention and robotics operations. The Company operates in three segments: Well Intervention, Robotics and Production Facilities. Its Well Intervention segment includes the Company’s vessels and equipment used to perform well intervention services primarily in the Gulf of Mexico and North Sea regions. Its Robotics segment includes remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), trenchers and ROVDrills designed to complement offshore construction and well intervention services, and operates chartered ROV support vessels. Its Production Facilities segment includes the Helix Producer I (the HP I), a floating production vessel, the Helix Fast Response System (the HFRS), and its ownership interest in Independence Hub, LLC (Independence Hub).

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