CSX Corporation (NASDAQ: CSX) and Ryder System (NYSE:R) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, risk and earnings.

Volatility & Risk

CSX Corporation has a beta of 1.35, suggesting that its share price is 35% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ryder System has a beta of 1.41, suggesting that its share price is 41% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for CSX Corporation and Ryder System, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
CSX Corporation 1 8 17 0 2.62
Ryder System 0 4 4 0 2.50

CSX Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $54.23, suggesting a potential upside of 4.65%. Ryder System has a consensus target price of $79.80, suggesting a potential downside of 3.84%. Given CSX Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe CSX Corporation is more favorable than Ryder System.

Dividends

CSX Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Ryder System pays an annual dividend of $1.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. CSX Corporation pays out 41.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ryder System pays out 44.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. CSX Corporation has raised its dividend for 8 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

69.8% of CSX Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.5% of Ryder System shares are held by institutional investors. 4.8% of CSX Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Ryder System shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares CSX Corporation and Ryder System’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
CSX Corporation $11.55 billion 4.10 $5.20 billion $1.91 27.13
Ryder System $6.99 billion 0.63 $1.82 billion $4.17 19.90

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

Profitability

This table compares CSX Corporation and Ryder System’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
CSX Corporation 15.46% 16.93% 5.57%
Ryder System 3.17% 11.71% 2.21%

Summary

CSX Corporation beats Ryder System on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

CSX Corporation Company Profile

CSX Corporation is a transportation company. The Company provides rail-based freight transportation services, including traditional rail service and transport of intermodal containers and trailers, as well as other transportation services, such as rail-to-truck transfers and bulk commodity operations. The Company categorizes its products into three primary lines of business: merchandise, intermodal and coal. The Company’s intermodal business links customers to railroads through trucks and terminals. The Company’s merchandise business consists of shipments in markets, such as agricultural and food products, fertilizers, chemicals, automotive, metals and equipment, minerals and forest products. The Company’s coal business transports domestic coal, coke and iron ore to electricity-generating power plants, steel manufacturers and industrial plants, as well as export coal to deep-water port facilities.

Ryder System Company Profile

Ryder System, Inc. is engaged in offering transportation and supply chain management solutions. The Company operates through three segments: Fleet Management Solutions (FMS), which provides leasing, commercial rental, contract maintenance, and contract-related maintenance of trucks, tractors and trailers to customers principally in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom; Dedicated Transportation Solutions (DTS), which provides vehicles and drivers as part of a dedicated transportation solution in the United States, and Supply Chain Solutions (SCS), which provides supply chain solutions, including distribution and transportation services in North America and Asia. Through its FMS business, the Company provides its customers with various fleet solutions. In addition, it provides its customers to purchase a selection of used trucks, tractors and trailers through its used vehicle sales program. Its customer base includes enterprises operating in various industries.

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