Marten Transport (NASDAQ: MRTN) and FRP Holdings (NASDAQ:FRPH) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Marten Transport and FRP Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marten Transport 4.96% 7.72% 5.18%
FRP Holdings 17.90% 3.40% 2.53%

Dividends

Marten Transport pays an annual dividend of $0.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. FRP Holdings does not pay a dividend. Marten Transport pays out 16.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Marten Transport and FRP Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marten Transport 0 2 0 0 2.00
FRP Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A

Marten Transport currently has a consensus price target of $15.00, indicating a potential downside of 20.63%. Given Marten Transport’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Marten Transport is more favorable than FRP Holdings.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Marten Transport and FRP Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Marten Transport $687.80 million 1.50 $133.29 million $0.63 30.19
FRP Holdings $32.09 million 13.99 $21.12 million $0.68 66.03

Marten Transport has higher revenue and earnings than FRP Holdings. Marten Transport is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than FRP Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

42.4% of Marten Transport shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.5% of FRP Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. 23.0% of Marten Transport shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 23.3% of FRP Holdings shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Marten Transport has a beta of 1.27, indicating that its stock price is 27% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, FRP Holdings has a beta of 0.55, indicating that its stock price is 45% less volatile than the S&P 500.

About Marten Transport

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier. The Company focuses on transporting and distributing food and other consumer-packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. The Company operates through four segments: Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage. It operates throughout the United States and in parts of Canada and Mexico. The Company’s medium-to-long-haul traffic lanes are between the Midwest and the West Coast, Southwest, Southeast, and the East Coast, as well as from California to the Pacific Northwest. It provides regional truckload carrier services in the Southeast, West Coast, Midwest, South Central and Northeast regions. It also offers loading and unloading activities, equipment detention and other ancillary services. The Company’s Truckload segment provides a combination of regional short-haul and medium-to-long-haul full-load transportation services.

About FRP Holdings

FRP Holdings, Inc. is a holding company engaged in various real estate businesses. The Company conducts its business through its subsidiaries, FRP Maryland, Inc., FRP Development Corp. and Florida Rock Properties, Inc. The segments of the Company include leasing and management of warehouse and office building owned by the Company (the Asset Management Segment), leasing and management of mining royalty land owned by the Company (the Mining Royalty Lands Segment) and real property acquisition, entitlement, development and construction primarily for warehouse and office buildings (the Land Development and Construction Segment). The Company’s Asset Management Segment owns leases and manages warehouse and office buildings. Its Mining Royalty Lands Segment owns several properties comprising approximately 15,000 acres under lease for mining rents or royalties. Its Land Development and Construction Segment owns and monitors the parcels of land that are in various stages of development.

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