Reviewing Valero Energy Partners (NYSE:VLP) and Noble Midstream Partners (NBLX)

Valero Energy Partners (NYSE: VLP) and Noble Midstream Partners (NYSE:NBLX) are both mid-cap energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends and risk.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Valero Energy Partners and Noble Midstream Partners, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Valero Energy Partners 0 3 5 0 2.63
Noble Midstream Partners 0 2 7 0 2.78

Valero Energy Partners currently has a consensus price target of $51.71, suggesting a potential upside of 11.50%. Noble Midstream Partners has a consensus price target of $53.63, suggesting a potential downside of 3.55%. Given Valero Energy Partners’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Valero Energy Partners is more favorable than Noble Midstream Partners.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Valero Energy Partners and Noble Midstream Partners’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Valero Energy Partners $362.62 million 9.04 $188.83 million $2.83 16.39
Noble Midstream Partners $160.72 million 8.04 $74.44 million $4.01 13.87

Valero Energy Partners has higher revenue and earnings than Noble Midstream Partners. Noble Midstream Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Valero Energy Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

29.3% of Valero Energy Partners shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.8% of Noble Midstream Partners shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Valero Energy Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.1%. Noble Midstream Partners pays an annual dividend of $1.87 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. Valero Energy Partners pays out 67.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Noble Midstream Partners pays out 46.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Valero Energy Partners has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Valero Energy Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Valero Energy Partners and Noble Midstream Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Valero Energy Partners 54.43% 184.08% 22.28%
Noble Midstream Partners 55.83% 36.74% 24.51%

Summary

Valero Energy Partners beats Noble Midstream Partners on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Valero Energy Partners Company Profile

Valero Energy Partners LP owns, operates, develops and acquires crude oil and refined petroleum products pipelines, terminals, and other transportation and logistics assets. The Company’s assets include crude oil and refined petroleum products pipelines, terminals, and other logistics assets in the United States Gulf Coast and the United States Mid-Continent regions that are integral to the operations of the ten of Valero Energy Corporation (Valero) refineries. It provides assets and services, such as Port Arthur logistics system, McKee logistics system, Memphis logistics system, Three Rivers logistics system, Ardmore logistics system, Houston logistics system, St. Charles logistics system, Corpus Christi logistics system and Meraux logistics system. Port Arthur logistics system includes its Lucas crude system and its Port Arthur products system. McKee logistics system is a crude oil and refined petroleum products pipeline and terminal system supporting Valero’s McKee Refinery.

Noble Midstream Partners Company Profile

Noble Midstream Partners LP is engaged in owning, operating, developing and acquiring a range of domestic midstream infrastructure assets. The Company’s areas of focus are in the area of Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin in Colorado and the Southern Delaware Basin position of the Permian Basin in Texas (Delaware Basin). Its segments include Gathering Systems, Fresh Water Delivery, and Investments in White Cliffs and Other. The Gathering Systems segment includes crude oil, natural gas and produced water gathering, as well as crude oil treating. It holds interest in White Cliffs Pipeline L.L.C. (the White Cliffs Interest). The Investments in White Cliffs and Other segment includes activity associated with the White Cliffs Interest. As of December 31, 2016, the White Cliffs Pipeline system consisted of two 527-mile crude oil pipelines that extended from the DJ Basin to the Cushing, Oklahoma. It provides crude oil, natural gas, and water-related midstream services for Noble Energy, Inc.

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