CST Brands (NYSE: CST) and TravelCenters of America (NYSE:TA) are both energy companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitabiliy, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, risk and dividends.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for CST Brands and TravelCenters of America, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CST Brands 0 8 0 0 2.00
TravelCenters of America 0 1 2 0 2.67

CST Brands presently has a consensus price target of $45.88, suggesting a potential downside of 5.46%. TravelCenters of America has a consensus price target of $7.25, suggesting a potential upside of 90.79%. Given TravelCenters of America’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe TravelCenters of America is more favorable than CST Brands.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares CST Brands and TravelCenters of America’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CST Brands N/A N/A N/A $4.04 12.01
TravelCenters of America $5.75 billion 0.03 $99.40 million $0.06 63.33

TravelCenters of America has higher revenue and earnings than CST Brands. CST Brands is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than TravelCenters of America, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

85.7% of CST Brands shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.1% of CST Brands shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

CST Brands has a beta of 1.04, suggesting that its stock price is 4% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, TravelCenters of America has a beta of 2.92, suggesting that its stock price is 192% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares CST Brands and TravelCenters of America’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CST Brands -0.11% 0.97% -0.28%
TravelCenters of America -2.11% -20.79% -7.19%

Dividends

CST Brands pays an annual dividend of $0.06 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.1%. TravelCenters of America does not pay a dividend. CST Brands pays out 1.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Summary

CST Brands beats TravelCenters of America on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

CST Brands Company Profile

CST Brands LLC, formerly CST Brands, Inc., is a holding company. The Company is an independent retail of motor fuel and convenience merchandise in the United States and eastern Canada. Its segments include U.S. Retail, Canadian Retail and CrossAmerica. As of December 31, 2016, its U.S. Retail segment had 1,167 Company-operated retail sites located in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. As of December 31, 2016, its Canadian Retail segment had 884 retail sites located in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. As of December 31, 2016, its CrossAmerica segment had 1,187 distribution sites located in 29 states, which consisted of 403 independent dealer sites, 153 sites operated by Dunne Manning Stores LLC, 420 sites operated by lessee dealers, 95 commission sites, 73 CrossAmerica Partners LP Company-operated retail sites and 43 CST Company-operated retail sites.

TravelCenters of America Company Profile

TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters) operates and franchises travel centers and convenience store and restaurant locations. The Company’s segments include travel centers, convenience stores, and corporate and other. The Company offers a range of products and services, including diesel fuel and gasoline, as well as nonfuel products and services, such as truck repair and maintenance services, full service restaurants, quick service restaurants (QSRs), travel/convenience stores and various customer amenities. Its customers include trucking fleets and their drivers, independent truck drivers, highway and local motorists, and casual diners. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s business included 255 travel centers in 43 states in the United States primarily along the United States interstate highway system, and the province of Ontario, Canada. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s business included 233 convenience stores in 11 states in the United States.

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