Trinity Industries (NYSE: TRN) and General Electric (NYSE:GE) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends and profitabiliy.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

80.5% of Trinity Industries shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 54.2% of General Electric shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.0% of Trinity Industries shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of General Electric shares are owned by 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.

Profitability

This table compares Trinity Industries and General Electric’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Trinity Industries 6.81% 6.82% 3.20%
General Electric 7.48% 16.59% 3.57%

Volatility and Risk

Trinity Industries has a beta of 2.19, indicating that its share price is 119% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, General Electric has a beta of 1.22, indicating that its share price is 22% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Trinity Industries and General Electric, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Trinity Industries 1 4 3 0 2.25
General Electric 2 8 9 0 2.37

Trinity Industries presently has a consensus price target of $24.63, suggesting a potential downside of 11.48%. General Electric has a consensus price target of $30.33, suggesting a potential upside of 17.07%. Given General Electric’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe General Electric is more favorable than Trinity Industries.

Dividends

Trinity Industries pays an annual dividend of $0.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.9%. General Electric pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. Trinity Industries pays out 27.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. General Electric pays out 98.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Trinity Industries has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Trinity Industries and General Electric’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Trinity Industries $4.28 billion 0.99 $925.00 million $1.91 14.57
General Electric $119.93 billion 1.88 $17.64 billion $0.98 26.44

General Electric has higher revenue and earnings than Trinity Industries. Trinity Industries is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than General Electric, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

General Electric beats Trinity Industries on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Trinity Industries Company Profile

Trinity Industries, Inc. is a diversified industrial company that owns businesses providing products and services to the energy, chemical, agriculture, transportation and construction sectors. The Company’s products and services include railcars and railcar parts; parts and steel components; the leasing, management and maintenance of railcars; highway products; construction aggregates; inland barges; structural wind towers; steel utility structures; storage and distribution containers, and trench shields and shoring products. The Company’s segments include the Rail Group, Construction Products Group, Inland Barge Group, Energy Equipment Group, Railcar Leasing and Management Services Group, and All Other. Its All Other segment includes its captive insurance and transportation companies, and other peripheral businesses. It manufactures a line of railcars, including autorack cars, box cars, covered hopper cars, gondola cars, intermodal cars, open hopper cars and tank cars.

General Electric Company Profile

General Electric Company is a global digital industrial company. The Company’s products and services range from aircraft engines, power generation, and oil and gas production equipment to medical imaging, financing and industrial products. Its segments include Power, which includes products and services related to energy production and water reuse; Renewable Energy, which offers renewable power sources; Oil & Gas, including liquefied natural gas and pipelines; Aviation, which includes commercial and military aircraft engines, and integrated digital components, among others; Healthcare, which provides healthcare technologies in medical imaging, digital solutions, patient monitoring and diagnostics, and drug discovery, among others; Transportation, which is a supplier to the railroad, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries; Energy Connections & Lighting, which includes Energy Connections and Lighting businesses, and Capital, which is a financial services division.

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