Marten Transport (NASDAQ: MRTN) and Pangaea Logistics Solutions (NASDAQ:PANL) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, dividends, valuation, earnings, risk and analyst recommendations.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

42.4% of Marten Transport shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 28.7% of Pangaea Logistics Solutions shares are held by institutional investors. 23.0% of Marten Transport shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 86.2% of Pangaea Logistics Solutions shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for Marten Transport and Pangaea Logistics Solutions, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marten Transport 0 2 0 0 2.00
Pangaea Logistics Solutions 0 0 2 0 3.00

Marten Transport currently has a consensus price target of $15.00, suggesting a potential downside of 21.67%. Pangaea Logistics Solutions has a consensus price target of $57.35, suggesting a potential upside of 2,340.43%. Given Pangaea Logistics Solutions’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Pangaea Logistics Solutions is more favorable than Marten Transport.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Marten Transport and Pangaea Logistics Solutions’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Marten Transport $687.80 million 1.52 $133.29 million $0.61 31.39
Pangaea Logistics Solutions $313.00 million 0.33 $30.99 million $0.08 29.38

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

Dividends

Marten Transport pays an annual dividend of $0.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Pangaea Logistics Solutions does not pay a dividend. Marten Transport pays out 16.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Marten Transport and Pangaea Logistics Solutions’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marten Transport 4.87% 7.52% 5.06%
Pangaea Logistics Solutions 0.88% 6.56% 3.14%

Volatility and Risk

Marten Transport has a beta of 1.32, meaning that its share price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Pangaea Logistics Solutions has a beta of 0.39, meaning that its share price is 61% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Marten Transport beats Pangaea Logistics Solutions on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

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 Pangaea Logistics Solutions

Pangaea Logistics Solutions, Ltd. is a holding company. The Company is a provider of seaborne drybulk transportation services. The Company services a range of industrial customers who require the transportation of a range of drybulk cargoes, including grains, coal, iron ore, pig iron, hot briquetted iron, bauxite, alumina, cement clinker, dolomite and limestone. The Company addresses the transportation needs of its customers by undertaking a set of services and activities, including cargo loading, cargo discharge, vessel chartering, voyage planning and technical vessel management. The Company uses a mix of owned and chartered-in motor vessels to transport over 18.3 million deadweight tons (dwt) of cargo to approximately 100 ports across the world, averaging over 40 vessels in service. The Company’s owned fleet includes eight Panamax drybulk carriers, four Supramax drybulk carriers and two Handymax drybulk carriers. Its vessels include Nordic Orion, Nordic Odyssey and Bulk Trident.

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