Saia (NASDAQ: SAIA) and Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ:WERN) are both transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, risk, profitabiliy and valuation.

Risk and Volatility

Saia has a beta of 0.78, suggesting that its share price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Werner Enterprises has a beta of 0.88, suggesting that its share price is 12% less 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%. Saia does not pay a dividend. Werner Enterprises pays out 27.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Saia and Werner Enterprises, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Saia 0 2 4 0 2.67
Werner Enterprises 2 7 1 0 1.90

Saia currently has a consensus target price of $52.50, indicating a potential upside of 0.38%. Werner Enterprises has a consensus target price of $26.00, indicating a potential downside of 10.50%. Given Saia’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Saia is more favorable than Werner Enterprises.

Profitability

This table compares Saia and Werner Enterprises’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Saia 3.92% 10.27% 5.80%
Werner Enterprises 3.70% 7.61% 4.29%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

97.6% of Saia shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 66.4% of Werner Enterprises shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of Saia shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 34.8% of Werner Enterprises shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Saia and Werner Enterprises’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Saia $1.25 billion 1.06 $158.10 million $1.90 27.53
Werner Enterprises $2.03 billion 1.03 $317.40 million $1.03 28.20

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

Summary

Saia beats Werner Enterprises on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Saia Company Profile

Saia, Inc. is a transportation company. The Company provides regional and interregional less-than-truckload (LTL) services. The Company also offers a range of other value-added services, including non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services across the United States. The Company’s subsidiary Saia Motor Freight Line, LLC (Saia LTL Freight) is a LTL carrier. As of December 31, 2016, Saia LTL Freight had served 34 states in the South, Southwest, Midwest, Pacific Northwest and West. Saia LTL Freight specializes in offering its customers a range of regional and interregional LTL services, including time-definite and expedited options. As of December 31, 2016, Saia LTL Freight operated a network consisting of 151 owned and leased locations. The Company’s other subsidiaries include Saia TL Plus, LLC, Saia Logistics Services, LLC, Saia Sales, LLC, Saia Metrogo, LLC, LinkEx, Inc. and Saia Motor Freight Mexico, S. DE R.L. DE C.V.

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.

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