SkyWest (NASDAQ: SKYW) and China Southern Airlines Company Limited (NYSE:ZNH) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, dividends, earnings and valuation.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares SkyWest and China Southern Airlines Company Limited’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SkyWest $3.13 billion 0.65 $618.51 million ($2.83) -13.80
China Southern Airlines Company Limited $17.82 billion 0.42 $2.97 billion N/A N/A

China Southern Airlines Company Limited has higher revenue and earnings than SkyWest.

Risk and Volatility

SkyWest has a beta of 1.68, indicating that its stock price is 68% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, China Southern Airlines Company Limited has a beta of 1.11, indicating that its stock price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares SkyWest and China Southern Airlines Company Limited’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SkyWest -4.59% 11.10% 3.06%
China Southern Airlines Company Limited N/A N/A N/A

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for SkyWest and China Southern Airlines Company Limited, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SkyWest 0 2 2 1 2.80
China Southern Airlines Company Limited 1 0 1 0 2.00

SkyWest presently has a consensus price target of $41.50, indicating a potential upside of 6.27%. Given SkyWest’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe SkyWest is more favorable than China Southern Airlines Company Limited.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

89.4% of SkyWest shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.5% of China Southern Airlines Company Limited shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.5% of SkyWest shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

SkyWest pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. China Southern Airlines Company Limited pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. SkyWest pays out -11.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. SkyWest has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Summary

SkyWest beats China Southern Airlines Company Limited on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

SkyWest Company Profile

SkyWest, Inc., through its subsidiaries, SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines) and ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. (ExpressJet), operates regional airline operations in the United States. The Company’s segments include SkyWest Airlines, ExpressJet and SkyWest Leasing. The SkyWest Airlines segment provides regional jet service to airports primarily located in the Midwestern and Western United States, as well as Mexico and Canada. The ExpressJet segment provides regional jet service to airports primarily located in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, as well as Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. The SkyWest Leasing segment includes its E175 aircraft ownership business. As of December 31, 2016, the Company offered scheduled passenger service with approximately 3,160 daily departures to destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The Company’s flights are operated as Delta Connection, United Express, American Eagle or Alaska Airlines.

China Southern Airlines Company Limited Company Profile

China Southern Airlines Company Limited is principally engaged in the operation of civil aviation, including the provision of passenger, cargo, mail delivery and other extended transportation services. The Company operates through two business segments, including Airline Transportation segment and Other segment. Airline Transportation segment consist of passenger and cargo and mail operations. Other segment includes hotel and tour operation, ground services, cargo handling and other miscellaneous services. . The Company also provides services of general aviation and aircraft maintenance. The Company acts as an agency of domestic and foreign airlines, and other aviation and related business, such as personal accident insurance and agency business.

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