Critical Survey: United Utilities Group (UUGRY) & Its Competitors

United Utilities Group (OTCMKTS: UUGRY) is one of 23 publicly-traded companies in the “Electric & other services combined” industry, but how does it contrast to its peers? We will compare United Utilities Group to similar businesses based on the strength of its valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, risk and dividends.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

0.3% of United Utilities Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 70.4% of shares of all “Electric & other services combined” companies are owned by institutional investors. 5.9% of shares of all “Electric & other services combined” companies 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.

Profitability

This table compares United Utilities Group and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United Utilities Group N/A N/A N/A
United Utilities Group Competitors 5.41% 10.48% 2.96%

Risk and Volatility

United Utilities Group has a beta of 0.51, suggesting that its stock price is 49% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Utilities Group’s peers have a beta of 0.28, suggesting that their average stock price is 72% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for United Utilities Group and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United Utilities Group 0 2 1 0 2.33
United Utilities Group Competitors 346 1603 1156 10 2.27

As a group, “Electric & other services combined” companies have a potential downside of 2.35%. Given United Utilities Group’s peers higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe United Utilities Group has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Dividends

United Utilities Group pays an annual dividend of $1.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.1%. United Utilities Group pays out 97.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Electric & other services combined” companies pay a dividend yield of 3.1% and pay out 63.4% of their earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares United Utilities Group and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Net Income Price/Earnings Ratio
United Utilities Group $2.30 billion $470.44 million 16.08
United Utilities Group Competitors $8.41 billion $397.75 million 17.00

United Utilities Group’s peers have higher revenue, but lower earnings than United Utilities Group. United Utilities Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Summary

United Utilities Group peers beat United Utilities Group on 11 of the 15 factors compared.

United Utilities Group Company Profile

United Utilities Group PLC provides water and wastewater services in the United Kingdom. It is also involved in renewable energy generation, corporate trustee, financing, and property management activities; and the provision of consulting and project management services. The company operates 42,000 kilometers (km) of water pipes; 77,000 km of wastewater pipes; 568 wastewater treatment works; and 88 water treatment works. It serves 3 million households and 200,000 business customers. United Utilities Group PLC was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Warrington, the United Kingdom.

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