Comparing Sprague Resources (SRLP) & Martin Midstream Partners (MMLP)

Sprague Resources (NYSE: SRLP) and Martin Midstream Partners (NASDAQ:MMLP) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, dividends and earnings.

Valuation and Earnings

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This table compares Sprague Resources and Martin Midstream Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sprague Resources $2.86 billion 0.18 $29.49 million $1.13 20.71
Martin Midstream Partners $946.12 million 0.57 $17.13 million $0.44 31.70

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

Profitability

This table compares Sprague Resources and Martin Midstream Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sprague Resources 1.00% 17.44% 2.73%
Martin Midstream Partners 1.81% 8.22% 2.14%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

21.9% of Sprague Resources shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 36.6% of Martin Midstream Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 17.0% of Martin Midstream Partners shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Sprague Resources pays an annual dividend of $2.55 per share and has a dividend yield of 10.9%. Martin Midstream Partners pays an annual dividend of $2.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 14.3%. Sprague Resources pays out 225.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Martin Midstream Partners pays out 454.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Sprague Resources has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Sprague Resources and Martin Midstream Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sprague Resources 1 0 1 0 2.00
Martin Midstream Partners 0 3 2 0 2.40

Sprague Resources presently has a consensus target price of $27.00, indicating a potential upside of 15.38%. Martin Midstream Partners has a consensus target price of $18.00, indicating a potential upside of 29.03%. Given Martin Midstream Partners’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Martin Midstream Partners is more favorable than Sprague Resources.

Risk and Volatility

Sprague Resources has a beta of 1.38, indicating that its share price is 38% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Martin Midstream Partners has a beta of 1.5, indicating that its share price is 50% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Martin Midstream Partners beats Sprague Resources on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sprague Resources Company Profile

Sprague Resources LP is engaged in the purchase, storage, distribution and sale of refined products and natural gas, and provides storage and handling services for a range of materials. The Company operates through four segments: refined products, which purchases a range of refined products, such as heating oil, diesel fuel, residual fuel oil, asphalt, kerosene, jet fuel and gasoline from refining companies, trading organizations and producers; natural gas, which purchases natural gas from natural gas producers and trading companies, and sells and distributes natural gas to commercial and industrial customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States; materials handling, which offloads, stores and prepares for delivery a range of customer-owned products, including asphalt, clay slurry, coal and heavy equipment, and other operations, which include the purchase and distribution of coal, certain commercial trucking activities and the heating equipment service business.

Martin Midstream Partners Company Profile

Martin Midstream Partners L.P. is a limited partnership with a set of operations focused in the United States Gulf Coast region. The Company’s four business lines include terminalling and storage services for petroleum products and by-products, including the refining of naphthenic crude oil and the blending and packaging of finished lubricants; natural gas services, including liquids transportation and distribution services, and natural gas storage; sulfur and sulfur-based products processing, manufacturing, marketing and distribution, and marine transportation services for petroleum products and by-products. The petroleum products and by-products it collects, transports, stores and markets are produced by oil and gas companies. As of December 31, 2016, it operated 26 marine shore-based terminal facilities and 14 specialty terminal facilities located in the United States Gulf Coast region. Its customers include oil and gas companies, chemical companies and fertilizer manufacturers.

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