Amerco (NASDAQ: UHAL) and Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Volatility and Risk

Amerco has a beta of 1.12, suggesting that its share price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Canadian National Railway has a beta of 1.11, suggesting that its share price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

30.0% of Amerco shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 54.5% of Canadian National Railway shares are owned by institutional investors. 42.6% of Amerco shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Canadian National Railway shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Amerco and Canadian National Railway, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Amerco 0 0 0 0 N/A
Canadian National Railway 0 13 5 0 2.28

Canadian National Railway has a consensus target price of $81.36, suggesting a potential downside of 0.35%. Given Canadian National Railway’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Canadian National Railway is more favorable than Amerco.

Dividends

Canadian National Railway pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.6%. Amerco does not pay a dividend. Canadian National Railway pays out 34.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Canadian National Railway has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Amerco and Canadian National Railway’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Amerco 10.92% 12.85% 3.86%
Canadian National Railway 30.59% 25.42% 10.24%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Amerco and Canadian National Railway’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Amerco $3.46 billion 2.20 $1.19 billion $19.27 20.11
Canadian National Railway $10.07 billion 6.09 $5.42 billion $3.84 21.26

Canadian National Railway has higher revenue and earnings than Amerco. Amerco is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Canadian National Railway, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Canadian National Railway beats Amerco on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Amerco Company Profile

AMERCO is a do-it-yourself moving and storage operator through its subsidiary, U-Haul International, Inc. (U-Haul). The Company supplies its products and services to help people move and store their household and commercial goods through U-Haul. It sells U-Haul brand boxes, tape, and other moving and self-storage products and services to do-it-yourself moving and storage customers at its distribution outlets and through uhaul.com and eMove Websites. The Company operates through three segments: Moving and Storage; Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance. The Moving and Storage segment includes the operations of AMERCO, U-Haul and Amerco Real Estate Company, and the subsidiaries of U-Haul and Real Estate. The Property and Casualty Insurance segment consists of the operations of Repwest Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, and ARCOA Risk Retention Group. The Life Insurance segment consists of the operations of Oxford Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries.

Canadian National Railway Company Profile

Canadian National Railway Company is engaged in the rail and related transportation business. The Company’s network of approximately 20,000 route miles of track spans Canada and mid-America, connecting approximately three coasts, including the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico and serving the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert (British Columbia), Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile (Alabama), and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth (Minnesota)/Superior (Wisconsin), and Jackson (Mississippi), with connections to all points in North America. Its network and connections to all Class I railroads provide its customers access to the three North American Free Trade Agreement nations. It carries over 300 million tons of cargo, serving exporters, importers, retailers, farmers and manufacturers. Its freight includes seven commodity representing a portfolio of goods.

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