PrimeEnergy (PNRG) versus Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) Head to Head Contrast

PrimeEnergy (NASDAQ:PNRG) and Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares PrimeEnergy and Canadian Natural Resources’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
PrimeEnergy $89.31 million 1.80 $41.99 million N/A N/A
Canadian Natural Resources $12.84 billion 2.53 $1.85 billion $0.83 32.42

Canadian Natural Resources has higher revenue and earnings than PrimeEnergy.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

2.2% of PrimeEnergy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.6% of Canadian Natural Resources shares are owned by institutional investors. 71.2% of PrimeEnergy shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.0% of Canadian Natural Resources shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for PrimeEnergy and Canadian Natural Resources, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
PrimeEnergy 0 0 0 0 N/A
Canadian Natural Resources 0 3 10 0 2.77

Canadian Natural Resources has a consensus target price of $45.17, suggesting a potential upside of 67.84%. Given Canadian Natural Resources’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Canadian Natural Resources is more favorable than PrimeEnergy.


Canadian Natural Resources pays an annual dividend of $1.01 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.8%. PrimeEnergy does not pay a dividend. Canadian Natural Resources pays out 121.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Canadian Natural Resources has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.


This table compares PrimeEnergy and Canadian Natural Resources’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
PrimeEnergy 25.76% 8.04% 3.35%
Canadian Natural Resources 15.94% 12.33% 5.43%

Risk and Volatility

PrimeEnergy has a beta of -0.1, meaning that its stock price is 110% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Canadian Natural Resources has a beta of 1.17, meaning that its stock price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Canadian Natural Resources beats PrimeEnergy on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

PrimeEnergy Company Profile

PrimeEnergy Corporation, an independent oil and natural gas company, through its subsidiaries, engages in acquiring, developing, and producing oil and natural gas properties in the United States. It also acquires producing oil and gas properties through joint ventures with industry partners; and provides contract services to third parties, including well-servicing support operations, site-preparation, and construction services for oil and gas drilling and reworking operations. The company operates approximately 1,500 active wells and owns non-operating interests in approximately 400 additional wells primarily in Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. The company was founded in 1973 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Canadian Natural Resources Company Profile

Canadian Natural Resources Limited explores for, develops, produces, and markets crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs). The company offers light and medium crude oil, primary heavy crude oil, Pelican Lake heavy crude oil, bitumen, and synthetic crude oil (SCO). Its midstream assets include two crude oil pipeline systems; and a 50% working interest in an 84-megawatt cogeneration plant at Primrose. As of December 31, 2017, the company's gross proved crude oil, bitumen, SCO, and NGLs reserves totaled 7,742 million barrels; gross proved plus probable crude oil, bitumen, SCO, and NGLs reserves totaled 10,263 million barrels; proved natural gas reserves totaled 6,771 billion cubic feet; and gross proved plus probable natural gas reserves totaled 9,619 billion cubic feet. It operates primarily in Western Canada; the United Kingdom portion of the North Sea; and Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, and South Africa in Offshore Africa. The company was formerly known as AEX Minerals Corporation and changed its name to Canadian Natural Resources Limited in December 1975. Canadian Natural Resources Limited was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

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