Financial Comparison: Ion Geophysical (IO) and Eco-Stim Energy Solutions (ESES)

Ion Geophysical (NYSE: IO) and Eco-Stim Energy Solutions (NASDAQ:ESES) are both small-cap energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, earnings and profitability.

Volatility and Risk

Ion Geophysical has a beta of 3.62, meaning that its stock price is 262% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Eco-Stim Energy Solutions has a beta of 2.14, meaning that its stock price is 114% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Ion Geophysical and Eco-Stim Energy Solutions’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ion Geophysical -15.31% -65.84% -6.43%
Eco-Stim Energy Solutions -85.29% -43.11% -23.60%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Ion Geophysical and Eco-Stim Energy Solutions, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ion Geophysical 0 0 1 0 3.00
Eco-Stim Energy Solutions 0 0 5 0 3.00

Eco-Stim Energy Solutions has a consensus target price of $2.36, indicating a potential upside of 76.12%. Given Eco-Stim Energy Solutions’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Eco-Stim Energy Solutions is more favorable than Ion Geophysical.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ion Geophysical and Eco-Stim Energy Solutions’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ion Geophysical $197.55 million 1.92 -$30.24 million ($2.56) -12.32
Eco-Stim Energy Solutions $8.35 million 11.96 -$17.92 million ($1.09) -1.23

Eco-Stim Energy Solutions has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Ion Geophysical. Ion Geophysical is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Eco-Stim Energy Solutions, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

34.8% of Ion Geophysical shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.0% of Eco-Stim Energy Solutions shares are held by institutional investors. 15.2% of Ion Geophysical shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 11.1% of Eco-Stim Energy Solutions shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Eco-Stim Energy Solutions beats Ion Geophysical on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ion Geophysical

ION Geophysical Corporation is a technology-focused company. It provides geophysical technology, services and solutions to the global oil and gas industry. Its offerings are designed to enable oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies to obtain images of the Earth’s subsurface. It offers services and products through three segments: E&P Technology & Services, E&P Operations Optimization, and Ocean Bottom Services. E&P Technology & Services provides services and products for complex and hard-to-image geologies, such as deepwater subsalt formations in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore East and West Africa and Brazil; unconventional reservoirs, such as those found onshore in shale, tight gas and oil sands formations, and offshore basin-wide seismic data and imaging programs. E&P Operations Optimization combines its Optimization Software and Services and Devices offerings. Ocean Bottom Services consists of OceanGeo, an ocean bottom data acquisition services company.

About Eco-Stim Energy Solutions

Eco-Stim Energy Solutions, Inc. is an oilfield services company. The Company provides well stimulation, coiled tubing and field management services to the upstream oil and gas industry. The Company focuses on the active shale and unconventional oil and natural gas basins outside the United States and it has commenced operations in Argentina. The Company operates well stimulation fleets, coiled tubing units and other downhole completion equipment, as well as provides sweet spot analysis in shale resource basins using geophysical predictive modeling combined with real-time feedback from down-hole diagnostic tools. The Company offers a pumping fleet, including well-stimulation pumps, nitrogen pumping units and cranes, in both trailer-mounted and skid-mounted configurations. It provides a range of pressure-pumping services, including work-over pumping, well injection and wireline pump downs.

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