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Better Buy: Pfizer vs. CONSOL Energy

By Dave Williamson and Taylor Muckerman - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:00AM

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We've collected the most popular companies amongst Fool.com readers and put them head-to-head in a good old-fashioned challenge we're calling The Motley Fool's Better Buy Tournament.

In today's second-round match-up of The Motley Fool's Better-Buy Tournament, Pfizer squares off against CONSOL Energy in a battle to determine which stock is the better buy now. The 64-company tournament pits two Motley Fool analysts against each other as they make the case for their stocks, with the winner determined by you, the readers.

In response to losing cash cow Lipitor, Pfizer ( PFE 2.32% ) reimagined itself as a focused drug-development company, selling off its nutrition business and spinning out its animal health division. Pfizer has five drugs with more than $2 billion in 2013 sales each, and Pfizer management is focused on shareholder value -- increasing the dividend while decreasing share count via buybacks. Pfizer's 3.2% dividend has a low payout ratio of only 30%, and the company is flush with cash, making increases likely in the future. Finally, drugs like Xeljanz and Prevnar have a strong growth trajectory, while developmental assets like palbociclib in breast cancer may be the next great Pfizer blockbuster, according to Motley Fool analyst David Williamson.

Motley Fool energy analyst Taylor Muckerman thinks CONSOL Energy ( CNX 0.37% ) should move to the next round because of its accelerating shift into natural gas. While it's the oldest coal producer in the nation, natural gas is CONSOL's future. To avoid being blindsided, though, CONSOL wisely chose to hold on to its lower-cost thermal coal mines and its solely owned export terminal as a nice hedge while the market shakes itself out. Other coal companies are probably jealous of this flexibility.

Watch these analysts square off in the following video, and then vote for a winner. Then check out the other companies in the Motley Fool Better-Buy Bracket

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Cast your vote in the poll below the video!

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
PFE
$54.27 (2.32%) $1.23
CONSOL Energy Inc. Stock Quote
CONSOL Energy Inc.
CNX
$13.44 (0.37%) $0.05

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