USA Truck (USAK) & Marten Transport (MRTN) Head-To-Head Analysis

USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK) and Marten Transport (NASDAQ:MRTN) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability, dividends and valuation.

Risk & Volatility

USA Truck has a beta of 2.57, indicating that its stock price is 157% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Marten Transport has a beta of 1.34, indicating that its stock price is 34% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares USA Truck and Marten Transport’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
USA Truck -2.61% -19.57% -3.85%
Marten Transport 4.87% 7.45% 5.04%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

64.3% of USA Truck shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 68.5% of Marten Transport shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.5% of USA Truck shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 23.0% of Marten Transport shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


Marten Transport pays an annual dividend of $0.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. USA Truck does not pay a dividend. Marten Transport pays out 16.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares USA Truck and Marten Transport’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
USA Truck $429.10 million 0.35 -$7.69 million ($1.39) -13.01
Marten Transport $671.14 million 1.63 $33.46 million $0.61 32.95

Marten Transport has higher revenue and earnings than USA Truck. USA Truck is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Marten Transport, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations for USA Truck and Marten Transport, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
USA Truck 0 1 2 0 2.67
Marten Transport 0 2 0 0 2.00

USA Truck presently has a consensus target price of $10.75, indicating a potential downside of 40.54%. Marten Transport has a consensus target price of $15.00, indicating a potential downside of 25.37%. Given Marten Transport’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Marten Transport is more favorable than USA Truck.


Marten Transport beats USA Truck on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

USA Truck Company Profile

USA Truck, Inc. is a truckload carrier providing transportation of general commodities throughout the continental United States and into and out of portions of Mexico and Canada. The Company operates through two segments: Trucking and Strategic Capacity Solutions (SCS). The Trucking segment consists of truckload and dedicated freight services. The SCS segment consists of freight brokerage and rail intermodal services. The Company transports full dry van trailer loads of freight from origin to destination without intermediate stops or handling. The Company offers a range of truckload and logistics services to a customer base that spans a range of industries. The Company’s fleet of approximately 1,832 tractors consists of 1,568 company tractors and 264 independent contractor tractors. The Company owns approximately 6,200 trailers. The Company also transports general commodities into and out of Mexico by allowing through-trailer service from its terminal in Laredo, Texas.

Marten Transport Company Profile

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier. The Company focuses on transporting and distributing food and other consumer-packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. The Company operates through four segments: Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage. It operates throughout the United States and in parts of Canada and Mexico. The Company’s medium-to-long-haul traffic lanes are between the Midwest and the West Coast, Southwest, Southeast, and the East Coast, as well as from California to the Pacific Northwest. It provides regional truckload carrier services in the Southeast, West Coast, Midwest, South Central and Northeast regions. It also offers loading and unloading activities, equipment detention and other ancillary services. The Company’s Truckload segment provides a combination of regional short-haul and medium-to-long-haul full-load transportation services.

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