Universal Logistics (NASDAQ: ULH) and Landstar System (NASDAQ:LSTR) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk and profitability.

Risk and Volatility

Universal Logistics has a beta of 1.57, indicating that its share price is 57% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Landstar System has a beta of 0.81, indicating that its share price is 19% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

27.8% of Universal Logistics shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.0% of Landstar System shares are owned by institutional investors. 71.0% of Universal Logistics shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.0% of Landstar System shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Universal Logistics pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Landstar System pays an annual dividend of $0.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Universal Logistics pays out 121.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Landstar System pays out 11.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Universal Logistics and Landstar System’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Universal Logistics $1.07 billion 0.61 $24.24 million $0.23 100.43
Landstar System $3.17 billion 1.39 $137.35 million $3.61 29.09

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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Universal Logistics and Landstar System, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Universal Logistics 0 2 1 0 2.33
Landstar System 2 7 3 0 2.08

Universal Logistics presently has a consensus target price of $23.00, indicating a potential downside of 0.43%. Landstar System has a consensus target price of $95.36, indicating a potential downside of 9.18%. Given Universal Logistics’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Universal Logistics is more favorable than Landstar System.

Profitability

This table compares Universal Logistics and Landstar System’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Universal Logistics 0.55% 11.59% 2.94%
Landstar System 4.36% 25.53% 13.14%

Summary

Landstar System beats Universal Logistics on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Universal Logistics

Universal Logistics Holdings, Inc., formerly Universal Truckload Services, Inc., is an asset-light provider of customized transportation and logistics solutions across the United States, Mexico, Canada and Colombia. The Company operates through two segments: the transportation segment and the logistics segment. The Company’s operations aggregated in the transportation segment are associated with individual freight shipments coordinated by its agents, company-managed terminals and specialized services operations. The Company’s operations aggregated in the logistics segment deliver value-added services and transportation services to specific customers. Its other operating segments consist of the Company’s subsidiaries that provide support services to other subsidiaries and to owner-operators, including shop maintenance and equipment leasing. The Company groups its services into three service categories: transportation, value-added and intermodal support.

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.

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