Which of 2 stocks would appeal to long-term investors? Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG)

The shares of Occidental Petroleum Corporation have increased by more than 14.39% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -0.01% or -$0.01 and now trades at $84.26. The shares of NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG), has jumped by 18.50% year to date as of 05/16/2018. The shares currently trade at $33.75 and have been able to report a change of -1.40% over the past one week.

The stock of Occidental Petroleum Corporation and NRG Energy, Inc. were two of the most active stocks on Wednesday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

Next 5Y EPS Growth: 61.51% versus 77.47%

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that OXY will grow it’s earning at a 61.51% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to NRG which will have a positive growth at a 77.47% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of NRG implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.

Profitability and Returns

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. OXY has an EBITDA margin of 46.06%, this implies that the underlying business of OXY is more profitable. The ROI of OXY is 2.20% while that of NRG is 7.30%. These figures suggest that NRG ventures generate a higher ROI than that of OXY.

Cash Flow

The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, OXY’s free cash flow per share is a negative -4.9, while that of NRG is also a negative -0.09.

Liquidity and Financial Risk

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The current ratio for OXY is 1.30 and that of NRG is 1.20. This implies that it is easier for OXY to cover its immediate obligations over the next 12 months than NRG.


OXY currently trades at a forward P/E of 23.39, a P/B of 3.11, and a P/S of 4.78 while NRG trades at a forward P/E of 11.24, and a P/S of 1.01. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, OXY is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

Analyst Price Targets and Opinions

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of OXY is currently at a 6.85% to its one-year price target of 78.86. Looking at its rival pricing, NRG is at a -7.53% relative to its price target of 36.50.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), OXY is given a 2.50 while 1.80 placed for NRG. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for OXY stocks.

Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for OXY is 1.94 while that of NRG is just 2.40. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for OXY stock.


The stock of Occidental Petroleum Corporation defeats that of NRG Energy, Inc. when the two are compared, with OXY taking 4 out of the total factors that were been considered. OXY happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, OXY is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for OXY is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

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