Reviewing Via Renewables (NASDAQ:VIA) & Ameren (NYSE:AEE)

Via Renewables (NASDAQ:VIAGet Rating) and Ameren (NYSE:AEEGet Rating) are both oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation and profitability.

Dividends

Via Renewables pays an annual dividend of $0.73 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.9%. Ameren pays an annual dividend of $2.36 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Via Renewables pays out 64.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ameren pays out 60.5% 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. Ameren has raised its dividend for 9 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

Via Renewables has a beta of 1.01, indicating that its share price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ameren has a beta of 0.34, indicating that its share price is 66% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Via Renewables and Ameren’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Via Renewables $393.48 million 0.74 $5.20 million $1.14 7.21
Ameren $6.39 billion 3.77 $990.00 million $3.90 23.93

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

Profitability

This table compares Via Renewables and Ameren’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Via Renewables 6.33% 36.29% 7.02%
Ameren 15.04% 10.33% 2.87%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Via Renewables and Ameren, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Via Renewables 0 0 0 0 N/A
Ameren 0 3 4 0 2.57

Ameren has a consensus price target of $98.00, indicating a potential upside of 5.03%. Given Ameren’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Ameren is more favorable than Via Renewables.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

16.9% of Via Renewables shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 75.1% of Ameren shares are held by institutional investors. 66.1% of Via Renewables shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of Ameren shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Ameren beats Via Renewables on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Via Renewables Company Profile (Get Rating)

Via Renewables, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an independent retail energy services company in the United States. It operates in two segments, Retail Electricity and Retail Natural Gas. The Retail Electricity segment engages in the transmission and sale of electricity to residential and commercial customers. The Retail Natural Gas segment is involved in the transportation, distribution, and sale of natural gas to residential and commercial customers. As of March 2, 2022, the company operated in 101 utility service territories across 19 states and the District of Columbia. It has approximately 408,000 residential customer equivalents. The company was formerly known as Spark Energy, Inc. and changed its name to Via Renewables, Inc. in August 2021. Via Renewables, Inc. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Ameren Company Profile (Get Rating)

Ameren Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. It operates through four segments: Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution, Ameren Illinois Natural Gas, and Ameren Transmission. The company engages in the rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution activities; and rate-regulated natural gas distribution and transmission businesses. It primarily generates electricity through coal, nuclear, and natural gas, as well as renewable sources, such as hydroelectric, wind, methane gas, and solar. The company serves residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Ameren Corporation was founded in 1881 and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

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