Comparing Saia (SAIA) & Universal Logistics (ULH)

Saia (NASDAQ: SAIA) and Universal Logistics (NASDAQ:ULH) are both small-cap industrials companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, risk, institutional ownership and valuation.


Universal Logistics pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Saia does not pay a dividend. 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.

Risk & Volatility

Saia has a beta of 0.85, meaning that its share price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Universal Logistics has a beta of 1.56, meaning that its share price is 56% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Saia and Universal Logistics, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Saia 0 4 2 0 2.33
Universal Logistics 0 1 1 0 2.50

Saia currently has a consensus price target of $58.33, suggesting a potential downside of 16.67%. Universal Logistics has a consensus price target of $23.00, suggesting a potential upside of 1.32%. Given Universal Logistics’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Universal Logistics is more favorable than Saia.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Saia and Universal Logistics’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Saia $1.38 billion 1.29 $91.15 million $3.49 20.06
Universal Logistics $1.07 billion 0.60 $24.24 million $0.23 98.70

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

99.8% of Saia shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 27.4% of Universal Logistics shares are held by institutional investors. 1.5% of Saia shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 71.0% of Universal Logistics shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Saia and Universal Logistics’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Saia 6.61% 10.80% 6.06%
Universal Logistics 0.55% 11.59% 2.94%


Saia beats Universal Logistics on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Saia

Saia, Inc. is a transportation company. The Company provides regional and interregional less-than-truckload (LTL) services. The Company also offers a range of other value-added services, including non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services across the United States. The Company’s subsidiary Saia Motor Freight Line, LLC (Saia LTL Freight) is a LTL carrier. As of December 31, 2016, Saia LTL Freight had served 34 states in the South, Southwest, Midwest, Pacific Northwest and West. Saia LTL Freight specializes in offering its customers a range of regional and interregional LTL services, including time-definite and expedited options. As of December 31, 2016, Saia LTL Freight operated a network consisting of 151 owned and leased locations. The Company’s other subsidiaries include Saia TL Plus, LLC, Saia Logistics Services, LLC, Saia Sales, LLC, Saia Metrogo, LLC, LinkEx, Inc. and Saia Motor Freight Mexico, S. DE R.L. DE C.V.

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.

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