Ryanair Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: RYAAY) and JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership and profitability.

Risk and Volatility

Ryanair Holdings PLC has a beta of 0.61, meaning that its stock price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, JetBlue Airways Corporation has a beta of 0.59, meaning that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Ryanair Holdings PLC and JetBlue Airways Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ryanair Holdings PLC 21.44% 34.02% 13.43%
JetBlue Airways Corporation 9.78% 16.75% 6.99%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Ryanair Holdings PLC and JetBlue Airways Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ryanair Holdings PLC $8.22 billion 3.18 $2.62 billion $6.48 16.69
JetBlue Airways Corporation $6.82 billion 0.94 $1.54 billion $1.97 9.85

Ryanair Holdings PLC has higher revenue and earnings than JetBlue Airways Corporation. JetBlue Airways Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ryanair Holdings PLC, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Ryanair Holdings PLC and JetBlue Airways Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ryanair Holdings PLC 3 2 7 0 2.33
JetBlue Airways Corporation 1 7 5 0 2.31

Ryanair Holdings PLC currently has a consensus target price of $96.00, indicating a potential downside of 11.23%. JetBlue Airways Corporation has a consensus target price of $25.80, indicating a potential upside of 32.99%. Given JetBlue Airways Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe JetBlue Airways Corporation is more favorable than Ryanair Holdings PLC.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

40.1% of Ryanair Holdings PLC shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 84.5% of JetBlue Airways Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of JetBlue Airways Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Ryanair Holdings PLC beats JetBlue Airways Corporation on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ryanair Holdings PLC Company Profile

Ryanair Holdings plc (Ryanair Holdings) is a holding company for Ryanair Limited (Ryanair). Ryanair operates an ultra-low fare, scheduled-passenger airline serving short-haul, point-to-point routes between Ireland, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Morocco and Israel. Ryanair provides various ancillary services and engages in other activities connected with its core air passenger service, including non-flight scheduled services, Internet-related services, and the in-flight sale of beverages, food and merchandise. Ryanair markets accommodation services and travel insurance through its Website. It provides hotel and accommodation services. Ryanair provides its own aircraft and passenger handling and ticketing services at Dublin Airport. As of June 30, 2016, Ryanair had a principal fleet of over 350 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and offered over 2,000 scheduled short-haul flights per day serving approximately 200 airports throughout Europe.

JetBlue Airways Corporation Company Profile

JetBlue Airways Corporation is a passenger carrier company. The Company provides air transportation services across the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. Its segments include Domestic, and Caribbean & Latin America. It operates various kinds of aircrafts, including Airbus A321, Airbus A320 and Embraer E190. It also provides premium transcontinental product called Mint. As of December 31, 2016, Mint included 16 fully lie-flat seats, four of which were in suites with a privacy door. The Company also provides Fly-Fi in-flight Internet service across its Airbus fleet. It provides its customers a choice to purchase tickets from three branded fares, which include Blue, Blue Plus and Blue Flex. Each of these fare include different offerings, such as free checked bags, reduced change fees and additional TrueBlue points. As of December 31, 2016, its Airbus A321 aircraft in a single cabin layout had 200 seats and those with Mint premium service had a seating capacity of 159 seats.

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