Era Group (NYSE: ERA) and Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, risk, profitability, analyst recommendations, earnings and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

86.8% of Era Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.0% of Spirit Airlines shares are held by institutional investors. 7.5% of Era Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of Spirit Airlines shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Era Group and Spirit Airlines’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Era Group -6.21% -3.10% -1.52%
Spirit Airlines 9.62% 17.96% 7.61%

Volatility & Risk

Era Group has a beta of 0.83, suggesting that its stock price is 17% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Spirit Airlines has a beta of 0.62, suggesting that its stock price is 38% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Era Group and Spirit Airlines, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Era Group 0 0 0 0 N/A
Spirit Airlines 0 6 5 0 2.45

Spirit Airlines has a consensus price target of $49.44, indicating a potential upside of 51.53%. Given Spirit Airlines’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Spirit Airlines is more favorable than Era Group.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Era Group and Spirit Airlines’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Era Group $233.70 million 0.98 $37.33 million ($0.70) -15.31
Spirit Airlines $2.49 billion 0.91 $509.32 million $3.45 9.46

Spirit Airlines has higher revenue and earnings than Era Group. Era Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Spirit Airlines, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Spirit Airlines beats Era Group on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Era Group Company Profile

Era Group Inc. is engaged in operating helicopters. The Company’s helicopters transport personnel to, from and between offshore oil and gas production platforms, drilling rigs and other installations. The Company also dry-leases helicopters to third-party helicopter operators and foreign affiliates. The primary users of the Company’s helicopter services are international, integrated and independent oil and gas exploration, development and production companies. In addition to serving the oil and gas industry, it provides air medical services; utility services, including support of firefighting, mining, power line and pipeline survey activities, and Alaska flightseeing tours, among other activities. It owns and operates a range of classes of helicopters, such as Heavy helicopters, Medium helicopters and Light helicopters. Heavy helicopters have twin engines and passenger capacity ranging from 16 to 19. Medium helicopters have twin engines and passenger capacity ranging from 11 to 12.

Spirit Airlines Company Profile

Spirit Airlines, Inc. is an airline company. The Company provides air transportation for passengers. As of December 31, 2016, its all-Airbus Fit Fleet operated over 420 daily flights to 59 destinations in the United States, Caribbean and Latin America. As of December 31, 2016, it had a fleet of 95 Airbus single-aisle aircraft, which are referred to as A320 family aircraft and include the A319, A320 and A321 models, which have common design and equipment but differ most notably in fuselage length, service range and seat capacity. As of December 31, 2016, its fleet consisted of 29 A319s, 45 A320ceos, five A320neos and 16 A321ceos. Its Bare Fares offerings are unbundled base fares that remove components included in the price of an airline ticket. It also offers Frill Control, which allows customers to pay only for the options they choose, such as bags, advance seat assignments and refreshments. As of December 31, 2016, its route network included 200 markets served by 59 airports.

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