Head to Head Analysis: Buckeye Partners (BPL) vs. NuStar Energy (NS)

Buckeye Partners (NYSE: BPL) and NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS) are both mid-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends and profitability.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

73.3% of Buckeye Partners shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 57.8% of NuStar Energy shares are held by institutional investors. 0.5% of Buckeye Partners shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.1% of NuStar Energy shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Buckeye Partners and NuStar Energy’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Buckeye Partners 12.11% 9.58% 4.62%
NuStar Energy 11.99% 10.87% 3.34%

Dividends

Buckeye Partners pays an annual dividend of $5.05 per share and has a dividend yield of 13.1%. NuStar Energy pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 10.5%. Buckeye Partners pays out 152.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. NuStar Energy pays out 375.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Buckeye Partners has raised its dividend for 15 consecutive years. Buckeye Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Buckeye Partners and NuStar Energy, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Buckeye Partners 1 10 2 0 2.08
NuStar Energy 0 8 1 0 2.11

Buckeye Partners presently has a consensus target price of $51.38, suggesting a potential upside of 32.95%. NuStar Energy has a consensus target price of $26.25, suggesting a potential upside of 15.28%. Given Buckeye Partners’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Buckeye Partners is more favorable than NuStar Energy.

Volatility & Risk

Buckeye Partners has a beta of 1.18, suggesting that its stock price is 18% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, NuStar Energy has a beta of 1.46, suggesting that its stock price is 46% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Buckeye Partners and NuStar Energy’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Buckeye Partners $3.65 billion 1.56 $478.80 million $3.32 11.64
NuStar Energy $1.81 billion 1.17 $147.96 million $0.64 35.58

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

Summary

Buckeye Partners beats NuStar Energy on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Buckeye Partners Company Profile

Buckeye Partners, L.P. owns and operates liquid petroleum products pipelines in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: Domestic Pipelines & Terminals, Global Marine Terminals, and Merchant Services. The Domestic Pipelines & Terminals segment transports liquid petroleum products, including gasoline, jet fuel, and various distillates; refined petroleum products; and crude oil. This segment also provides crude oil services, including train loading/unloading, storage, and throughput; and turn-key operations and maintenance, asset development, and construction services for third-party pipeline and energy assets, as well as operates and/or maintains third-party pipelines. It owns and operates approximately 6,000 miles of pipeline located primarily in the northeastern and upper midwestern portions of the United States, and services 110 delivery locations; 115 active terminals that provide bulk storage and throughput services with aggregate storage capacity of 56 million barrels; and 2 underground propane storage caverns. The Global Marine Terminals segment provides marine accessible bulk storage and blending, rail and truck rack loading/unloading, and petroleum processing services in the New York Harbor on the East Coast and Corpus Christi, Texas in the Gulf Coast region of the United States, as well as The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and St. Lucia in the Caribbean, Northwest Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. This segment owns and operates 22 liquid petroleum products and crude oil terminals. The Merchant Services segment is involved in the wholesale distribution of refined petroleum products, including gasoline, natural gas liquids, propane, ethanol, and biodiesel, as well as petroleum distillates, such as heating oil, diesel fuel, kerosene, and fuel oil. Buckeye GP LLC serves as the general partner of the company. Buckeye Partners, L.P. was founded in 1886 and is based in Houston, Texas.

NuStar Energy Company Profile

NuStar Energy L.P. engages in the terminalling, storage, and marketing of petroleum products in Texas. The company also engages in the transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia. It operates through three segments: Pipeline, Storage, and Fuels Marketing. The Pipeline segment transports refined petroleum products, crude oil, and anhydrous ammonia. The Storage segment owns terminal and storage facilities, which offer storage, handling, and other services for petroleum products, crude oil, specialty chemicals, and other liquids. This segment also provides pilotage, tug assistance, line handling, launch, emergency response, and other ship services. The Fuels Marketing segment is involved in the purchase of crude oil, fuel oil, bunker fuel, fuel oil blending components, and other refined products for resale. As of December 31, 2017, the company had 3,130 miles of refined product pipelines and 1,930 miles of crude oil pipelines in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico; a 1,920-mile refined product pipeline originating in southern Kansas and terminating at Jamestown, North Dakota; a 450-mile refined product pipeline originating at Andeavor's Mandan, North Dakota refinery and terminating in Minneapolis, Minnesota; 2,000 miles of anhydrous ammonia pipelines; and 81 terminal and storage facilities, which offer approximately 96 million barrels of storage capacity. The company has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Riverwalk Logistics, L.P. serves as the general partner of the company. NuStar Energy L.P. was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

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