Head-To-Head Comparison: CMS Energy Corporation (CMS) vs. Ameren Corporation (AEE)

CMS Energy Corporation (NYSE: CMS) and Ameren Corporation (NYSE:AEE) are both large-cap utilities companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability and earnings.

Dividends

CMS Energy Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.33 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Ameren Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. CMS Energy Corporation pays out 66.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ameren Corporation pays out 61.5% 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. CMS Energy Corporation has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years and Ameren Corporation has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Ameren Corporation is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.4% of CMS Energy Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.8% of Ameren Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of CMS Energy Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Ameren Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares CMS Energy Corporation and Ameren Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CMS Energy Corporation $6.51 billion 2.06 $2.06 billion $1.99 23.98
Ameren Corporation $6.06 billion 2.42 $2.44 billion $2.86 21.10

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

Profitability

This table compares CMS Energy Corporation and Ameren Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CMS Energy Corporation 8.52% 12.98% 2.64%
Ameren Corporation 11.11% 9.57% 2.82%

Risk & Volatility

CMS Energy Corporation has a beta of 0.15, suggesting that its share price is 85% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ameren Corporation has a beta of 0.36, suggesting that its share price is 64% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for CMS Energy Corporation and Ameren Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CMS Energy Corporation 0 5 5 0 2.50
Ameren Corporation 1 3 0 0 1.75

CMS Energy Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $48.56, suggesting a potential upside of 1.75%. Ameren Corporation has a consensus target price of $55.33, suggesting a potential downside of 8.30%. Given CMS Energy Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe CMS Energy Corporation is more favorable than Ameren Corporation.

Summary

CMS Energy Corporation beats Ameren Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

CMS Energy Corporation Company Profile

CMS Energy Corporation is an energy company operating primarily in Michigan. The Company operates through three segments: electric utility, which consists of regulated activities associated with the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Michigan; gas utility, which consists of regulated activities associated with the transportation, storage and distribution of natural gas in Michigan, and enterprises, which consists of various subsidiaries engaging primarily in domestic independent power production. The Company is the parent holding company of various subsidiaries, including Consumers Energy Company (Consumers), an electric and gas utility company, and CMS Enterprises Company (CMS Enterprises), a domestic independent power producer. Consumers serves individuals and businesses operating in the alternative energy, automotive, chemical, metal, and food products industries, as well as a group of other industries.

Ameren Corporation Company Profile

Ameren Corporation is a utility holding company. The Company’s subsidiaries include Ameren Missouri, Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company (ATXI). It operates through four segments. The Ameren Missouri segment includes all of the operations of Ameren Missouri. The Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution segment consists of the electric distribution business of Ameren Illinois. The Ameren Illinois Natural Gas segment consists of the natural gas business of Ameren Illinois. The ATXI segment consists of the aggregated electric transmission businesses of Ameren Illinois and ATXI. Ameren Missouri operates a rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution business and a rate-regulated natural gas distribution business in Missouri. Ameren Illinois operates rate-regulated electric distribution, electric transmission and natural gas distribution businesses in Illinois. ATXI operates a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rate-regulated electric transmission business.

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