Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP) and XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations and risk.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for Union Pacific Corporation and XPO Logistics, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Union Pacific Corporation 0 10 8 0 2.44
XPO Logistics 0 1 16 0 2.94

Union Pacific Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $112.25, suggesting a potential upside of 7.06%. XPO Logistics has a consensus price target of $66.36, suggesting a potential upside of 17.28%. Given XPO Logistics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe XPO Logistics is more favorable than Union Pacific Corporation.

Dividends

Union Pacific Corporation pays an annual dividend of $2.42 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. XPO Logistics does not pay a dividend. Union Pacific Corporation pays out 43.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Union Pacific Corporation has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

79.9% of Union Pacific Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 91.1% of XPO Logistics shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of Union Pacific Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 16.9% of XPO Logistics shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Union Pacific Corporation and XPO Logistics’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Union Pacific Corporation $20.72 billion 4.05 $9.80 billion $5.52 18.99
XPO Logistics $14.69 billion 0.45 $1.20 billion $0.87 65.03

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

Profitability

This table compares Union Pacific Corporation and XPO Logistics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Union Pacific Corporation 21.79% 22.70% 8.05%
XPO Logistics 0.80% 6.49% 1.67%

Risk and Volatility

Union Pacific Corporation has a beta of 0.81, indicating that its stock price is 19% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, XPO Logistics has a beta of 2.31, indicating that its stock price is 131% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Union Pacific Corporation beats XPO Logistics on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Union Pacific Corporation Company Profile

Union Pacific Corporation is a railroad operating company in the United States. The Company operates through its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR). Its business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. Its freight traffic consists of bulk, manifest, and premium business. Bulk traffic primarily consists of coal, grain, soda ash, ethanol, rock and crude oil shipped in unit trains-trains transporting a single commodity from one origin to one destination. Manifest traffic includes individual carload or less than train-load business involving commodities, such as lumber, paper, food and chemicals. The transportation of finished vehicles, auto parts, intermodal containers and truck trailers are included as part of its premium business. As of December 31, 2016, its network included 32,070 route miles, linking Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast ports with the Midwest and Eastern United States gateways.

XPO Logistics Company Profile

XPO Logistics, Inc. is a global provider of supply chain solutions. The Company operates in two segments: Transportation and Logistics. The Transportation segment provides freight brokerage, last mile, less-than-truckload (LTL), full truckload and global forwarding services. The Logistics segment provides a range of contract logistics services, including highly engineered and customized solutions, value-added warehousing and distribution, cold chain solutions and other inventory solutions. Its freight brokerage operations encompass truck brokerage globally, as well as intermodal, drayage and expedite services in North America. In Logistics segment, it provides warehousing and distribution solutions, such as factory support, aftermarket support, integrated manufacturing, packaging, labeling and transportation. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had more than 10,000 independent owner operators under contract to provide drayage, expedite, last mile and LTL services to its customers.

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