Landstar System (NASDAQ: LSTR) and J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership and dividends.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Landstar System and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Landstar System 2 4 3 0 2.11
J.B. Hunt Transport Services 0 6 8 0 2.57

Landstar System presently has a consensus price target of $89.75, indicating a potential downside of 10.12%. J.B. Hunt Transport Services has a consensus price target of $103.79, indicating a potential downside of 2.89%. Given J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe J.B. Hunt Transport Services is more favorable than Landstar System.

Dividends

Landstar System pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. J.B. Hunt Transport Services pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Landstar System pays out 11.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. J.B. Hunt Transport Services pays out 24.1% 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. Landstar System has raised its dividend for 13 consecutive years.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Landstar System and J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Landstar System $3.33 billion 1.26 $271.70 million $3.46 28.86
J.B. Hunt Transport Services $6.77 billion 1.73 $1.06 billion $3.82 27.98

J.B. Hunt Transport Services has higher revenue and earnings than Landstar System. J.B. Hunt Transport Services is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Landstar System, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Landstar System has a beta of 0.76, meaning that its share price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, J.B. Hunt Transport Services has a beta of 0.97, meaning that its share price is 3% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Landstar System and J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Landstar System 4.37% 26.11% 13.28%
J.B. Hunt Transport Services 6.32% 30.00% 11.08%

Insider and Institutional Ownership

97.0% of Landstar System shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 71.5% of J.B. Hunt Transport Services shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Landstar System shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.3% of J.B. Hunt Transport Services shares are owned 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

J.B. Hunt Transport Services beats Landstar System on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Landstar System

Landstar System, Inc. (Landstar) is an asset-light provider of integrated transportation management solutions. The Company offers services to its customers across multiple transportation modes, with the ability to arrange for individual shipments of freight to enterprise solutions to manage customer’s transportation needs. It operates in two segments: the Transportation Logistics segment and the Insurance segment. The Transportation Logistics segment provides a range of integrated transportation management solutions. Transportation services offered by it include truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, rail intermodal, air cargo, ocean cargo, expedited ground and air delivery of time-critical freight, heavy-haul or specialized, the United States-Canada and the United States-Mexico cross-border, project cargo and customs brokerage. The insurance segment consists of Signature Insurance Company, which is an offshore insurance subsidiary, and Risk Management Claim Services, Inc.

About J.B. Hunt Transport Services

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. is a surface transportation, delivery, and logistics company in North America. The Company segments include Intermodal (JBI), Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) and Truck (JBT). The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides transportation and delivery services to a range of customers and consumers throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico. The JBI segment draws on the intermodal services of rail carriers for the underlying linehaul movement of its equipment between rail ramps. Its DCS segment focuses on private fleet conversion and creation in replenishment, specialized equipment and final-mile delivery services. Its ICS segment provides traditional freight brokerage and transportation logistics solutions to customers through relationships with third-party carriers and integration. Its JBT segment offers full-load, dry-van freight, utilizing tractors operating over roads and highways.

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