Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK) and US Airways Group (NYSE:LCC) are both transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, risk, dividends and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.8% of Alaska Air Group shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of Alaska Air Group shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Alaska Air Group and US Airways Group’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Alaska Air Group $6.94 billion 1.42 $1.84 billion $6.16 12.95
US Airways Group N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Alaska Air Group has higher revenue and earnings than US Airways Group.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Alaska Air Group and US Airways Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Alaska Air Group 0 2 8 0 2.80
US Airways Group 0 0 0 0 N/A

Alaska Air Group currently has a consensus target price of $101.56, indicating a potential upside of 27.34%. Given Alaska Air Group’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Alaska Air Group is more favorable than US Airways Group.

Profitability

This table compares Alaska Air Group and US Airways Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Alaska Air Group 11.02% 30.04% 9.14%
US Airways Group N/A N/A N/A

Dividends

Alaska Air Group pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. US Airways Group does not pay a dividend. Alaska Air Group pays out 19.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. US Airways Group has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Summary

Alaska Air Group beats US Airways Group on 9 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Alaska Air Group Company Profile

Alaska Air Group, Inc. is the holding company of Alaska Airlines (Alaska), Virgin America Inc., Horizon Air (Horizon) and other business units. The Company operates through three segments: Mainline, Regional and Horizon. Its Mainline segment includes Alaska’s and Virgin America’s scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States, and in parts of Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba. Its Regional segment includes Horizon’s and other third-party carriers’ scheduled air transportation for passengers across a shorter distance network within the United States under capacity purchased arrangements (CPAs). Its Horizon segment includes the capacity sold to Alaska under CPA. Alaska and Virgin America operate fleets of narrowbody passenger jets. As of December 31, 2016, it maintained two frequent flyer plans: the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan and the Virgin America Elevate.

US Airways Group Company Profile

US Airways Group, Inc. (US Airways Group) is a holding company whose primary business activity is the operation of a network air carrier through its wholly owned subsidiaries US Airways, Piedmont Airlines, Inc. (Piedmont), PSA Airlines, Inc. (PSA), Material Services Company, Inc. (MSC) and Airways Assurance Limited (AAL). MSC and AAL operate in support of its airline subsidiaries in areas, such as the procurement of aviation fuel and insurance. Effective December 9, 2013, AMR Corp merged with US Airways Group Inc.

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