Comparing Ion Geophysical (IO) and Zion Oil & Gas (ZN)

Ion Geophysical (NYSE:IO) and Zion Oil & Gas (NASDAQ:ZN) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, institutional ownership, risk and earnings.

Risk and Volatility

Ion Geophysical has a beta of 2.81, meaning that its share price is 181% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Zion Oil & Gas has a beta of -0.02, meaning that its share price is 102% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Ion Geophysical and Zion Oil & Gas’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ion Geophysical $197.55 million 0.69 -$30.24 million ($1.61) -6.09
Zion Oil & Gas N/A N/A -$9.98 million N/A N/A

Zion Oil & Gas has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Ion Geophysical.


This table compares Ion Geophysical and Zion Oil & Gas’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ion Geophysical -32.58% -102.36% -15.42%
Zion Oil & Gas N/A -39.36% -27.14%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Ion Geophysical and Zion Oil & Gas, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ion Geophysical 0 3 2 0 2.40
Zion Oil & Gas 0 0 0 0 N/A

Ion Geophysical presently has a consensus target price of $57.00, indicating a potential upside of 481.63%. Given Ion Geophysical’s higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Ion Geophysical is more favorable than Zion Oil & Gas.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

56.4% of Ion Geophysical shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 14.7% of Zion Oil & Gas shares are held by institutional investors. 13.8% of Ion Geophysical shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 9.5% of Zion Oil & Gas shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


Ion Geophysical beats Zion Oil & Gas on 7 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ion Geophysical

ION Geophysical Corporation provides geoscience products, services, and solutions to the oil and gas industry worldwide. It operates through three segments: E&P Technology & Services, E&P Operations Optimization, and Ocean Bottom Services. The E&P Technology & Services segment offers complete seismic data services, including survey design and planning, data acquisition, project management, advanced processing, and imaging services, as well as reservoir characterization and interpretation services. The E&P Operations Optimization segment provides command and control software systems, as well as related software and services for towed marine streamer and ocean bottom seismic operations, and for survey design. This segment also manufactures and repairs marine towed streamer acquisition and positioning systems, and analog geophone sensors. The Ocean Bottom Services segment offers survey design, planning, and optimization services to maximize seismic image quality, operational efficiency, and safety; data acquisition; and data processing, interpretation, and reservoir services. This segment also manufactures re-deployable ocean bottom cable seismic data acquisition systems. ION Geophysical Corporation markets and sells its services and products through direct sales force and third-party sales representatives. The company was formerly known as Input/Output, Inc. and changed its name to ION Geophysical Corporation in 2007. ION Geophysical Corporation was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

About Zion Oil & Gas

Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. operates as an oil and gas exploration company in Israel. It holds a petroleum exploration license onshore Israel, the Megiddo-Jezreel License that covers an area of approximately 99,000 acres. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Dallas, Texas.

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