Swift Transportation (NYSE: SWFT) and Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) are both mid-cap industrials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, risk, institutional ownership, earnings, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Volatility & Risk

Swift Transportation has a beta of 1.96, meaning that its share price is 96% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Union Pacific Corporation has a beta of 0.84, meaning that its share price is 16% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

74.9% of Swift Transportation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 78.3% of Union Pacific Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 44.9% of Swift Transportation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of Union Pacific Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Union Pacific Corporation pays an annual dividend of $2.42 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Swift Transportation does not pay a dividend. Union Pacific Corporation pays out 43.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Swift Transportation has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Swift Transportation and Union Pacific Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Swift Transportation 2.65% 15.10% 4.04%
Union Pacific Corporation 21.79% 22.70% 8.05%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Swift Transportation and Union Pacific Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Swift Transportation 0 5 10 0 2.67
Union Pacific Corporation 0 13 5 0 2.28

Swift Transportation presently has a consensus target price of $28.33, suggesting a potential downside of 3.92%. Union Pacific Corporation has a consensus target price of $113.65, suggesting a potential upside of 1.39%. Given Union Pacific Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Union Pacific Corporation is more favorable than Swift Transportation.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Swift Transportation and Union Pacific Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Swift Transportation $4.01 billion 0.98 $480.95 million $0.90 32.77
Union Pacific Corporation $20.72 billion 4.33 $9.80 billion $5.52 20.31

Union Pacific Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Swift Transportation. Union Pacific Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Swift Transportation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Union Pacific Corporation beats Swift Transportation on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Swift Transportation

Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc., formerly Swift Transportation Company, provides truckload services in North America. The Company also provides rail intermodal and non-asset based freight brokerage and logistics management services. The Company provides its services across United States, Mexico and Canada using its dry van, refrigerated, flatbed and specialized trailers, and intermodal containers. As of September 10, 2017, the Company had a fleet of approximately 23,000 tractors and 77,000 trailers. It operates through its Knight Transportation, Swift Transportation, and Barr-Nunn branded subsidiaries.

About Union Pacific Corporation

Union Pacific Corporation is a railroad operating company in the United States. The Company operates through its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR). Its business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. Its freight traffic consists of bulk, manifest, and premium business. Bulk traffic primarily consists of coal, grain, soda ash, ethanol, rock and crude oil shipped in unit trains-trains transporting a single commodity from one origin to one destination. Manifest traffic includes individual carload or less than train-load business involving commodities, such as lumber, paper, food and chemicals. The transportation of finished vehicles, auto parts, intermodal containers and truck trailers are included as part of its premium business. As of December 31, 2016, its network included 32,070 route miles, linking Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast ports with the Midwest and Eastern United States gateways.

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