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Analyzing Vista Energy (NYSE:VIST) and Ecoark (NASDAQ:ZEST)

Vista Energy (NYSE:VISTGet Rating) and Ecoark (NASDAQ:ZESTGet Rating) are both small-cap oils/energy companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, valuation and risk.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

29.2% of Vista Energy shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 22.5% of Ecoark shares are owned by institutional investors. 11.7% of Ecoark shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Vista Energy and Ecoark’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Vista Energy 8.24% 11.17% 3.82%
Ecoark -32.15% -30.50% -17.49%

Risk and Volatility

Vista Energy has a beta of 2.49, meaning that its share price is 149% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ecoark has a beta of 1.59, meaning that its share price is 59% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Vista Energy and Ecoark, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Vista Energy 0 0 1 0 3.00
Ecoark 0 0 0 0 N/A

Vista Energy currently has a consensus target price of $8.50, indicating a potential downside of 5.24%. Given Vista Energy’s higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Vista Energy is more favorable than Ecoark.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Vista Energy and Ecoark’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Vista Energy $652.19 million 1.22 $50.65 million $0.64 14.02
Ecoark $15.56 million 3.41 -$20.89 million ($0.80) -2.51

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


Vista Energy beats Ecoark on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Vista Energy (Get Rating)

Vista Energy, S.A.B. de C.V., through its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas in Latin America. The company’s principal assets are located in Vaca Muerta with approximately 183, 100 acres. It also owns producing assets in Argentina and Mexico. As of December 31, 2021, it had proved reserves of 181.6 MMBOE. The company was formerly known as Vista Oil & Gas, S.A.B. de C.V. and changed its name to Vista Energy, S.A.B. de C.V. in April 2022. Vista Energy, S.A.B. de C.V. was incorporated in 2017 and is based in Mexico City, Mexico.

About Ecoark (Get Rating)

Ecoark Holdings, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in oil and gas, financial services, and food freshness management solution businesses in the United States. It engages in the exploration, production, and drilling of oil and gas properties in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as provides transportation of frac sand and logistics services to hydraulic fracturing and drilling operations. The company also provides freshness management solutions for fresh food growers, suppliers, processors, distributors, grocers, and restaurants. In addition, it offers Zest Fresh solution, a cloud-based post-harvest shelf-life and freshness management solution that matches customer freshness requirements with actual product freshness and reduces post-harvest losses; and Zest Delivery solution, which provides real-time monitoring and control for prepared food delivery containers, and helps delivery and dispatch personnel to ensure the quality and safety of delivered food. Further, the company is involved in financial activities, including investing in various early stage startups. Ecoark Holdings, Inc. was founded in 2011 and is based in San Antonio, Texas.

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