Financial Contrast: Sasol (SSL) versus Enerplus (ERF)

Sasol (NYSE:SSL) and Enerplus (NYSE:ERF) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.

Dividends

Sasol pays an annual dividend of $0.79 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Enerplus pays an annual dividend of $0.09 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Sasol pays out 38.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Enerplus pays out 11.3% 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.

Risk & Volatility

Sasol has a beta of 1.03, suggesting that its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Enerplus has a beta of 1.55, suggesting that its stock price is 55% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Sasol and Enerplus, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sasol 0 2 4 0 2.67
Enerplus 0 0 3 0 3.00

Enerplus has a consensus price target of $16.67, suggesting a potential upside of 81.95%. Given Enerplus’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Enerplus is more favorable than Sasol.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Sasol and Enerplus’ top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sasol $14.14 billion 1.53 $681.73 million $2.07 16.00
Enerplus $709.92 million 3.16 $182.82 million $0.80 11.45

Sasol has higher revenue and earnings than Enerplus. Enerplus is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sasol, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

2.1% of Sasol shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 51.2% of Enerplus shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Sasol shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Sasol and Enerplus’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sasol N/A N/A N/A
Enerplus 7.88% 8.84% 5.28%

Summary

Enerplus beats Sasol on 9 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Sasol

Sasol Limited operates as an integrated chemical and energy company in South Africa. The company operates through Mining, Exploration and Production International, Energy, Base Chemicals, and Performance Chemicals segments. It operates coal mines; and develops and manages upstream interests in oil and gas exploration and production in Mozambique, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Gabon, and Australia. The company also markets and sells gas, electricity, and liquid fuels products; and develops, implements, and manages international gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids ventures. In addition, it produces and markets explosives, fertilizers, polymers, and mining reagents, as well as alcohols, ketones, acrylate monomers, and other oxygenated solvemnts for use in various applications, such as aerosols, cosmetics, fragrances, packaging, paints, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, polishes, printing and plastics, mining, pulp and paper, steel, textiles, water treatment and purification, agricultural fertilizers, and chemicals. Further, the company markets organic and inorganic commodity and specialty chemicals comprising organics, inorganics, wax, phenolic, carbon, ammonia, and specialty gases; and offers engineering and project services. Sasol Limited was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa.

About Enerplus

Enerplus Corporation, together with subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and development of crude oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada. Its crude oil properties are located in the Fort Berthold region of North Dakota and the Elm Coulee field in Richland County, Montana; and crude oil Waterfloods in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. The company's natural gas area primarily consists of its non-operated Marcellus shale gas interests located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Enerplus Corporation was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

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