Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II (NASDAQ: DSKE) and USA Truck (NASDAQ:USAK) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and risk.

Profitability

This table compares Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II and USA Truck’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II N/A -24.73% -3.71%
USA Truck -2.94% -20.68% -4.09%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II and USA Truck’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II $682.32 million 0.72 $74.48 million N/A N/A
USA Truck $417.62 million 0.23 $18.65 million ($1.53) -7.79

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II has higher revenue and earnings than USA Truck.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

20.1% of Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 53.4% of USA Truck shares are held by institutional investors. 20.0% of Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of USA Truck shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II has a beta of -0.2, meaning that its stock price is 120% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, USA Truck has a beta of 2.52, meaning that its stock price is 152% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II and USA Truck, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II 0 0 4 0 3.00
USA Truck 0 2 1 0 2.33

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II currently has a consensus target price of $13.67, indicating a potential upside of 5.62%. USA Truck has a consensus target price of $8.75, indicating a potential downside of 26.59%. Given Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II is more favorable than USA Truck.

Summary

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II beats USA Truck on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II

Daseke, Inc. is a consolidator of the open deck freight market in North America. The Company provides open deck transportation and logistics. It operates through two segments: Flatbed Solutions and Specialized Solutions. The Flatbed Solutions segment focuses on delivering transportation and logistics solutions that principally require the use of flatbed and retractable-sided transportation equipment. The Specialized Solutions segment focuses on delivering transportation and logistics solutions that principally include heavy haul, high-value customized, over-dimensional, step deck and removable gooseneck trailer solutions. The Company, as of September 5, 2017, had a fleet of over 3,800 trucks and over 8,200 flatbed and specialized trailer. The Company serves customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

About USA Truck

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.

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