Comparing Via Renewables (NASDAQ:VIA) & Alliant Energy (NASDAQ:LNT)

Alliant Energy (NASDAQ:LNTGet Rating) and Via Renewables (NASDAQ:VIAGet Rating) are both utilities companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, risk, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Alliant Energy pays an annual dividend of $1.71 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Via Renewables pays an annual dividend of $0.73 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.2%. Alliant Energy pays out 65.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Via Renewables pays out -331.8% 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. Alliant Energy has increased its dividend for 20 consecutive years. Via Renewables is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Risk and Volatility

Alliant Energy has a beta of 0.44, meaning that its share price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Via Renewables has a beta of 1, meaning that its share price has a similar volatility profile to the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Alliant Energy and Via Renewables’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alliant Energy $3.67 billion 4.33 $674.00 million $2.62 24.19
Via Renewables $393.48 million 0.72 $5.20 million ($0.22) -35.91

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

Profitability

This table compares Alliant Energy and Via Renewables’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alliant Energy 18.37% 11.44% 3.72%
Via Renewables 1.32% 7.95% 1.40%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

74.4% of Alliant Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 17.8% of Via Renewables shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.2% of Alliant Energy shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Via Renewables shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Alliant Energy and Via Renewables, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alliant Energy 1 4 2 0 2.14
Via Renewables 0 0 0 0 N/A

Alliant Energy currently has a consensus target price of $61.20, indicating a potential downside of 3.45%. Given Alliant Energy’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Alliant Energy is more favorable than Via Renewables.

Summary

Alliant Energy beats Via Renewables on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Alliant Energy Company Profile (Get Rating)

Alliant Energy Corporation operates as a utility holding company that provides regulated electricity and natural gas services. It operates through three segments: Utility Electric Operations, Utility Gas Operations, and Utility Other. The company, through its subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), primarily generates and distributes electricity, and distributes and transports natural gas to retail customers in Iowa; sells electricity to wholesale customers in Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa; and generates and distributes steam in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Alliant Energy Corporation, through its other subsidiary, Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL), generates and distributes electricity, and distributes and transports natural gas to retail customers in Wisconsin; and sells electricity to wholesale customers in Wisconsin. As of December 31, 2021, IPL supplied electric and natural gas service to approximately 500,000 and 225,000 retail customers respectively; and WPL supplied electric and natural gas service to approximately 485,000 and 200,000 retail customers, respectively. It serves retail customers in the farming, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, chemical, and packaging and food industries. In addition, the company owns and operates a short-line rail freight service in Iowa; a barge, rail, and truck freight terminal on the Mississippi River; and a rail-served warehouse in Iowa, as well as offers freight brokerage services. Further, it holds interests in a 347 megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired electric generating unit near Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin; and a 225 MW wind farm located in Oklahoma. The company was incorporated in 1981 and is headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin.

Via Renewables Company Profile (Get Rating)

Via Renewables, Inc. is an independent retail energy services company. It operates through the following segments: Retail Natural Gas and Retail Electricity. The Retail Natural Gas segment purchases natural gas through physical and financial transactions with market counterparts. The Retail Electricity segment obtains electricity through independent system operators and supply to residential and commercial consumers. The company was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Houston, TX.

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