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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

84.5% of JetBlue Airways Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.5% of China Southern Airlines Company Limited shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of JetBlue Airways Corporation 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.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for JetBlue Airways Corporation and China Southern Airlines Company Limited, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
JetBlue Airways Corporation 1 7 5 0 2.31
China Southern Airlines Company Limited 1 0 1 0 2.00

JetBlue Airways Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $25.80, indicating a potential upside of 38.56%. Given JetBlue Airways Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe JetBlue Airways Corporation is more favorable than China Southern Airlines Company Limited.

Volatility and Risk

JetBlue Airways Corporation has a beta of 0.59, meaning that its share price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, China Southern Airlines Company Limited has a beta of 1.11, meaning that its share price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
JetBlue Airways Corporation 9.78% 16.75% 6.99%
China Southern Airlines Company Limited N/A N/A N/A

Dividends

China Southern Airlines Company Limited pays an annual dividend of $0.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. JetBlue Airways Corporation does not pay a dividend. JetBlue Airways Corporation has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares JetBlue Airways Corporation 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
JetBlue Airways Corporation $6.82 billion 0.90 $1.54 billion $1.97 9.45
China Southern Airlines Company Limited $18.53 billion 0.39 $3.04 billion N/A N/A

China Southern Airlines Company Limited has higher revenue and earnings than JetBlue Airways Corporation.

Summary

JetBlue Airways Corporation beats China Southern Airlines Company Limited on 10 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

JetBlue Airways Corporation Company Profile

JetBlue Airways Corporation is a passenger carrier company. The Company provides air transportation services across the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America. Its segments include Domestic, and Caribbean & Latin America. It operates various kinds of aircrafts, including Airbus A321, Airbus A320 and Embraer E190. It also provides premium transcontinental product called Mint. As of December 31, 2016, Mint included 16 fully lie-flat seats, four of which were in suites with a privacy door. The Company also provides Fly-Fi in-flight Internet service across its Airbus fleet. It provides its customers a choice to purchase tickets from three branded fares, which include Blue, Blue Plus and Blue Flex. Each of these fare include different offerings, such as free checked bags, reduced change fees and additional TrueBlue points. As of December 31, 2016, its Airbus A321 aircraft in a single cabin layout had 200 seats and those with Mint premium service had a seating capacity of 159 seats.

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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