Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN) and Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ:ODFL) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, profitabiliy, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation and institutional ownership.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Werner Enterprises and Old Dominion Freight Line’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Werner Enterprises $2.03 billion 1.03 $317.40 million $1.03 28.06
Old Dominion Freight Line $3.04 billion 2.65 $687.79 million $3.64 26.81

Old Dominion Freight Line has higher revenue and earnings than Werner Enterprises. Old Dominion Freight Line is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Werner Enterprises, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

66.4% of Werner Enterprises shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.7% of Old Dominion Freight Line shares are owned by institutional investors. 34.8% of Werner Enterprises shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 14.6% of Old Dominion Freight Line shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Werner Enterprises and Old Dominion Freight Line’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Werner Enterprises 3.70% 7.61% 4.29%
Old Dominion Freight Line 9.92% 16.52% 11.17%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Werner Enterprises and Old Dominion Freight Line, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Werner Enterprises 2 8 1 0 1.91
Old Dominion Freight Line 0 3 3 1 2.71

Werner Enterprises presently has a consensus price target of $25.78, suggesting a potential downside of 10.80%. Old Dominion Freight Line has a consensus price target of $93.86, suggesting a potential downside of 3.82%. Given Old Dominion Freight Line’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Old Dominion Freight Line is more favorable than Werner Enterprises.

Volatility & Risk

Werner Enterprises has a beta of 0.87, meaning that its share price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Old Dominion Freight Line has a beta of 1.08, meaning that its share price is 8% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Werner Enterprises pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. Old Dominion Freight Line pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Werner Enterprises pays out 27.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Old Dominion Freight Line pays out 11.0% 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.

Summary

Old Dominion Freight Line beats Werner Enterprises on 14 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Werner Enterprises Company Profile

Werner Enterprises, Inc. is a transportation and logistics company. The Company is engaged in transporting truckload shipments of general commodities in both interstate and intrastate commerce. It operates through two segments: Truckload and Werner Logistics. It provides logistics services through its Werner Logistics division. As of December 31, 2016, it had a fleet of approximately 7,100 trucks, of which 6,305 were company-operated and 795 were owned and operated by independent contractors. Its Werner Logistics division operated 74 intermodal drayage trucks as of December 31, 2016. Its Truckload segment comprises the One-Way Truckload and Specialized Services units. It operates in several provinces of Canada to provide through-trailer service into and out of Mexico. Its Werner Logistic segment is a non-asset-based transportation and logistics provider and comprises four operating units: truck brokerage, freight management, the intermodal and Werner Global Logistics international.

Old Dominion Freight Line Company Profile

Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. is a union-free motor carrier providing regional, inter-regional and national less-than-truckload (LTL) services. The Company’s LTL services include ground and air expedited transportation for time-sensitive shipments, consumer household pickup and delivery and freight delivery services throughout North America. In addition to its LTL services, the Company offers a range of other value-added services that include container drayage, truckload brokerage, supply chain consulting and warehousing. As of December 31, 2016, the Company operated 226 service center locations, of which it owned 182 and leased 44. As of December 31, 2016, its network included 10 breakbulk facilities located in Rialto, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Greensboro, North Carolina; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Memphis and Morristown, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned 7,994 tractors.

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