Amerco (NASDAQ: UHAL) and CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, risk and analyst recommendations.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

29.9% of Amerco shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.5% of CSX Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 42.6% of Amerco shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 4.8% of CSX Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Amerco 9.30% 11.28% 3.38%
CSX Corporation 15.45% 17.28% 5.56%

Dividends

CSX Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Amerco does not pay a dividend. CSX Corporation pays out 41.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Amerco and CSX Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Amerco $3.42 billion 2.03 $398.42 million $16.62 21.35
CSX Corporation $11.07 billion 4.12 $1.71 billion $1.94 26.29

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

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for Amerco and CSX Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Amerco 0 0 0 0 N/A
CSX Corporation 2 6 16 0 2.58

CSX Corporation has a consensus target price of $57.20, indicating a potential upside of 12.14%. Given CSX Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe CSX Corporation is more favorable than Amerco.

Volatility & Risk

Amerco has a beta of 1.15, indicating that its share price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, CSX Corporation has a beta of 1.33, indicating that its share price is 33% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

CSX Corporation beats Amerco on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Amerco Company Profile

AMERCO is a do-it-yourself moving and storage operator through its subsidiary, U-Haul International, Inc. (U-Haul). The Company supplies its products and services to help people move and store their household and commercial goods through U-Haul. It sells U-Haul brand boxes, tape, and other moving and self-storage products and services to do-it-yourself moving and storage customers at its distribution outlets and through uhaul.com and eMove Websites. The Company operates through three segments: Moving and Storage; Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance. The Moving and Storage segment includes the operations of AMERCO, U-Haul and Amerco Real Estate Company, and the subsidiaries of U-Haul and Real Estate. The Property and Casualty Insurance segment consists of the operations of Repwest Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, and ARCOA Risk Retention Group. The Life Insurance segment consists of the operations of Oxford Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries.

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.

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