Critical Survey: Obsidian Energy (OTCMKTS:OBELF) versus Ecoark (NASDAQ:ZEST)

Obsidian Energy (OTCMKTS:OBELFGet Rating) and Ecoark (NASDAQ:ZESTGet Rating) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Obsidian Energy and Ecoark, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Obsidian Energy 0 0 1 0 3.00
Ecoark 0 0 0 0 N/A

Obsidian Energy currently has a consensus target price of $7.50, indicating a potential downside of 16.94%. Given Obsidian Energy’s higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Obsidian Energy is more favorable than Ecoark.


This table compares Obsidian Energy and Ecoark’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Obsidian Energy 99.13% 78.07% 35.32%
Ecoark -38.77% -41.24% -25.05%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

0.0% of Obsidian Energy shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 22.5% of Ecoark shares are held by institutional investors. 9.4% of Ecoark 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 Obsidian Energy and Ecoark’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Obsidian Energy $220.00 million 3.31 -$576.07 million $4.17 2.17
Ecoark $25.60 million 2.41 -$9.93 million ($0.80) -2.92

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

Risk & Volatility

Obsidian Energy has a beta of 2.47, meaning that its share price is 147% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ecoark has a beta of 1.16, meaning that its share price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Obsidian Energy beats Ecoark on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Obsidian Energy

(Get Rating)

Obsidian Energy Ltd. is an exploration and production company. The firm engages in exploring, developing, and holds interests in oil and natural gas properties and related production infrastructure in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin directly and through investments in securities of subsidiaries holding such interests. Its property portfolio includes Cardium, Viking, and Peace River. The company was founded on December 27, 1979 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

About Ecoark

(Get Rating)

Ecoark Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in oil and gas, financial services, and food freshness management solution businesses in the United States. It engages in the exploration, production, and drilling of oil and gas properties in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as provides transportation of frac sand and logistics services to hydraulic fracturing and drilling operations. The company also provides freshness management solutions for fresh food growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, grocers, and restaurants. In addition, it offers Zest Fresh solution, a cloud-based post-harvest shelf-life and freshness management solution that matches customer freshness requirements with actual product freshness and reduces post-harvest losses; and Zest Delivery solution, which provides real-time monitoring and control for prepared food delivery containers, and helps delivery and dispatch personnel to ensure the quality and safety of delivered food. Further, the company is involved in financial activities, including investing in various early stage startups. Ecoark Holdings, Inc. was founded in 2011 and is based in San Antonio, Texas.

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