FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) and Forward Air Corporation (NASDAQ:FWRD) are both transportation companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitabiliy, valuation, risk, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and earnings.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for FedEx Corporation and Forward Air Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
FedEx Corporation 0 5 18 0 2.78
Forward Air Corporation 0 5 1 0 2.17

FedEx Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $210.88, suggesting a potential upside of 0.18%. Forward Air Corporation has a consensus target price of $47.00, suggesting a potential downside of 11.34%. Given FedEx Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe FedEx Corporation is more favorable than Forward Air Corporation.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares FedEx Corporation and Forward Air Corporation’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
FedEx Corporation $57.57 billion 0.98 $7.81 billion $7.05 29.86
Forward Air Corporation $999.96 million 1.60 $141.81 million $0.95 55.80

FedEx Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Forward Air Corporation. FedEx Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Forward Air Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares FedEx Corporation and Forward Air Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
FedEx Corporation 3.31% 21.32% 6.65%
Forward Air Corporation 2.88% 13.06% 10.11%

Risk and Volatility

FedEx Corporation has a beta of 1.28, indicating that its share price is 28% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Forward Air Corporation has a beta of 1.06, indicating that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

77.0% of FedEx Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.5% of Forward Air Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 8.7% of FedEx Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Forward Air Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

FedEx Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Forward Air Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. FedEx Corporation pays out 22.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Forward Air Corporation pays out 63.2% 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. FedEx Corporation has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Summary

FedEx Corporation beats Forward Air Corporation on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About FedEx Corporation

FedEx Corporation (FedEx) provides a portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services through companies competing collectively, operating independently and managed collaboratively, under the FedEx brand. The Company’s segments include FedEx Express, TNT Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Services. The FedEx Express segment offers a range of the United States domestic and international shipping services for delivery of packages and freight. TNT Express segment collects, transports and delivers documents, parcels and freight on a day-definite or time-definite basis. The FedEx Ground segment provides business and residential money-back guaranteed ground package delivery services. The FedEx Freight segment offers less-than-truckload (LTL) freight services. The FedEx Services segment provides its other companies with sales, marketing, information technology, communications, customer service and other back-office support.

About Forward Air Corporation

Forward Air Corporation is a freight and logistics company. The Company provides less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload, intermodal and pool distribution services across the United States and in Canada. The Company’s segments include Expedited LTL, Truckload Premium Services (TLS), Intermodal and Pool Distribution. Expedited LTL segment provides expedited regional, inter-regional and national LTL services. TLS segment is a provider of transportation management services, including, but not limited to, expedited truckload brokerage, fleet services, as well as security and temperature-controlled logistics services in the United States and Canada. Intermodal offers first- and last-mile transportation of freight both to and from seaports and railheads through fleet and third party transportation providers. Pool distribution involves managing high-frequency handling and distribution of time-sensitive product to numerous destinations in specific geographic regions.

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