Head to Head Contrast: Helix Energy Solutions Group (HLX) versus Superior Energy Services (SPN)

Helix Energy Solutions Group (NYSE: HLX) and Superior Energy Services (NYSE:SPN) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation, dividends and risk.

Analyst Ratings

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This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Helix Energy Solutions Group and Superior Energy Services, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Helix Energy Solutions Group 1 1 4 0 2.50
Superior Energy Services 0 15 9 0 2.38

Helix Energy Solutions Group currently has a consensus target price of $8.40, indicating a potential upside of 36.59%. Superior Energy Services has a consensus target price of $12.86, indicating a potential upside of 38.83%. Given Superior Energy Services’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Superior Energy Services is more favorable than Helix Energy Solutions Group.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

87.9% of Helix Energy Solutions Group shares are held by institutional investors. 5.9% of Helix Energy Solutions Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of Superior Energy Services shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Helix Energy Solutions Group and Superior Energy Services’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Helix Energy Solutions Group $581.38 million 1.57 $30.05 million ($0.15) -41.00
Superior Energy Services $1.87 billion 0.76 -$205.92 million ($1.65) -5.61

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

Volatility & Risk

Helix Energy Solutions Group has a beta of 2.52, suggesting that its share price is 152% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Superior Energy Services has a beta of 2.1, suggesting that its share price is 110% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Helix Energy Solutions Group and Superior Energy Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Helix Energy Solutions Group 5.17% -1.42% -0.91%
Superior Energy Services -10.99% -21.92% -7.80%

Summary

Helix Energy Solutions Group beats Superior Energy Services on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Helix Energy Solutions Group Company Profile

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).

Superior Energy Services Company Profile

Superior Energy Services, Inc. provides a range of services and products to the energy industry related to the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas. The Company’s segments include Drilling Products and Services, which rents and sells bottom hole assemblies, drill pipe, tubulars and specialized equipment for use with onshore and offshore oil and gas well drilling, production and workover activities; Onshore Completion and Workover Services, which provides pressure pumping services used to complete and stimulate production in new oil and gas wells, fluid handling services and well servicing rigs that provide a range of well completion and maintenance services; Production Services, which provides intervention services, such as coiled tubing, cased hole and mechanical wireline, hydraulic workover and snubbing, and remedial pumping services, and Technical Solutions, which provides services requiring specialized engineering, manufacturing or project planning.

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