YRC Worldwide (NASDAQ: YRCW) and Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) are both transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, risk, dividends and earnings.

Dividends

Kansas City Southern pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.3%. YRC Worldwide does not pay a dividend. Kansas City Southern pays out 26.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. YRC Worldwide has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares YRC Worldwide and Kansas City Southern’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
YRC Worldwide N/A -0.70% 0.16%
Kansas City Southern 21.52% 11.40% 5.68%

Volatility & Risk

YRC Worldwide has a beta of 3.77, suggesting that its stock price is 277% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Kansas City Southern has a beta of 0.79, suggesting that its stock price is 21% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for YRC Worldwide and Kansas City Southern, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
YRC Worldwide 0 2 3 0 2.60
Kansas City Southern 0 10 7 0 2.41

YRC Worldwide presently has a consensus price target of $16.33, suggesting a potential upside of 21.35%. Kansas City Southern has a consensus price target of $103.92, suggesting a potential downside of 0.49%. Given YRC Worldwide’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe YRC Worldwide is more favorable than Kansas City Southern.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares YRC Worldwide and Kansas City Southern’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
YRC Worldwide $4.80 billion 0.09 $254.10 million ($0.02) -672.66
Kansas City Southern $2.47 billion 4.46 $1.18 billion $4.98 20.97

Kansas City Southern has higher revenue, but lower earnings than YRC Worldwide. YRC Worldwide is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Kansas City Southern, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

83.3% of YRC Worldwide shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.5% of Kansas City Southern shares are held by institutional investors. 3.7% of YRC Worldwide shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Kansas City Southern shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Kansas City Southern beats YRC Worldwide on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About YRC Worldwide

YRC Worldwide Inc. is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, offers its customers a range of transportation services. The Company operates through two segments: YRC Freight and Regional Transportation. The Company has less-than-truckload (LTL) networks in North America with local, regional, national and international capabilities. YRC Freight segment offers a range of services for the transportation of industrial, commercial and retail goods in national, regional and international markets, primarily through the operation of owned or leased equipment in its North American ground distribution network. It provides transportation services for various categories of goods, which include apparel, appliances, automotive parts, chemicals, food, furniture, glass, machinery, metal and metal products. The Company’s Regional Transportation segment consists of USF Holland LLC (Holland), New Penn Motor Express, LLC (New Penn) and USF Reddaway Inc. (Reddaway).

About Kansas City Southern

Kansas City Southern (KCS) is a holding company. The Company has domestic and international rail operations in North America that are focused on the north/south freight corridor connecting commercial and industrial markets in the central United States with industrial cities in Mexico. The Company’s subsidiaries include The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCSR) and Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (KCSM). KCSR serves a 10-state region in the midwest and southeast regions of the United States and has the north/south rail route between Kansas City, Missouri and various ports along the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. KCSM operates a corridor of the Mexican railroad system. KCSM’s rail lines provide rail access to the United States and Mexico border crossing at Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. KCSM also provides rail access to the Port of Lazaro Cardenas on the Pacific Ocean.

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