SkyWest (NASDAQ: SKYW) and United Continental Holdings (NYSE:UAL) are both transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, profitabiliy and risk.

Dividends

SkyWest pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. United Continental Holdings does not pay a dividend. SkyWest pays out -10.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares SkyWest and United Continental Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SkyWest -4.93% 10.12% 2.92%
United Continental Holdings 6.09% 29.46% 6.17%

Risk & Volatility

SkyWest has a beta of 1.72, suggesting that its stock price is 72% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Continental Holdings has a beta of 1.04, suggesting that its stock price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for SkyWest and United Continental Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SkyWest 0 2 2 1 2.80
United Continental Holdings 0 8 7 0 2.47

SkyWest currently has a consensus price target of $40.50, indicating a potential upside of 6.86%. United Continental Holdings has a consensus price target of $82.19, indicating a potential upside of 14.84%. Given United Continental Holdings’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe United Continental Holdings is more favorable than SkyWest.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

90.3% of SkyWest shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 96.7% of United Continental Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.5% of SkyWest shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of United Continental Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares SkyWest and United Continental Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SkyWest $3.12 billion 0.63 $594.73 million ($3.01) -12.59
United Continental Holdings $36.78 billion 0.60 $6.37 billion $7.24 9.89

United Continental Holdings has higher revenue and earnings than SkyWest. SkyWest is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than United Continental Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

United Continental Holdings beats SkyWest on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

SkyWest Company Profile

SkyWest, Inc., through its subsidiaries, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (ExpressJet), operates regional airline operations in the United States. The Company’s segments include SkyWest Airlines, ExpressJet and SkyWest Leasing. The SkyWest Airlines segment provides regional jet service to airports primarily located in the Midwestern and Western United States, as well as Mexico and Canada. The ExpressJet segment provides regional jet service to airports primarily located in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, as well as Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. The SkyWest Leasing segment includes its E175 aircraft ownership business. As of December 31, 2016, the Company offered scheduled passenger service with approximately 3,160 daily departures to destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The Company’s flights are operated as Delta Connection, United Express, American Eagle or Alaska Airlines.

United Continental Holdings Company Profile

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL) is a holding company and its principal subsidiary is United Air Lines, Inc. (United). The Company transports people and cargo through its mainline operations. It has global air rights in North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The Company, through United and its regional carriers, operates flights from its hubs at Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark Liberty), Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Chicago O’Hare), Denver International Airport (Denver), George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston Bush), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), A.B. Won Pat International Airport (Guam), San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Washington Dulles International Airport (Washington Dulles). It has contractual relationships with regional carriers to provide regional jet and turboprop service branded as United Express. These regional operations are an extension of the Company’s mainline network.

Receive News & Ratings for SkyWest Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for SkyWest Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.