Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE: CP) and Vitran (NASDAQ:VTNC) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, risk, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.


Canadian Pacific Railway pays an annual dividend of $1.83 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Vitran does not pay a dividend. Canadian Pacific Railway pays out 14.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Canadian Pacific Railway has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.


This table compares Canadian Pacific Railway and Vitran’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Canadian Pacific Railway 36.88% 29.96% 8.54%
Vitran N/A N/A N/A

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Canadian Pacific Railway and Vitran, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Canadian Pacific Railway 0 2 15 0 2.88
Vitran 0 0 0 0 N/A

Canadian Pacific Railway currently has a consensus price target of $193.86, indicating a potential upside of 11.24%. Given Canadian Pacific Railway’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Canadian Pacific Railway is more favorable than Vitran.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

68.0% of Canadian Pacific Railway shares are held by institutional investors. 0.0% of Canadian Pacific Railway shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Canadian Pacific Railway and Vitran’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Canadian Pacific Railway $5.05 billion 4.97 $1.86 billion $12.77 13.65
Vitran N/A N/A N/A ($1.87) -3.47

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

Risk & Volatility

Canadian Pacific Railway has a beta of 1.07, suggesting that its stock price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Vitran has a beta of 2.37, suggesting that its stock price is 137% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Canadian Pacific Railway beats Vitran on 12 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Canadian Pacific Railway

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, together with its subsidiaries, owns and operates a transcontinental freight railway in Canada and the United States. The Company operates through rail transportation segment. The Company’s transports bulk commodities, merchandise freight, and intermodal traffic over a network of approximately 12,400 miles. Its railway feeds directly into the United States heartland from the east and west coasts. Its Bulk commodities include grain, coal, potash, fertilizers and sulfur. Its Merchandise freight consists of finished vehicles and machinery, as well as forest and industrial and consumer products. Its Intermodal traffic consists of retail goods in overseas containers that can be transported by train, ship and truck and in domestic containers and trailers that can be moved by train and truck. Its subsidiaries include Canadian Pacific Railway Company, Soo Line Railroad Company, Delaware and Hudson Railway Company, Inc. and Mount Stephen Properties Inc.

About Vitran

Vitran Corporation Inc. (Vitran), is a provider of freight surface transportation and related supply chain services throughout Canada 34 states in the eastern, southeastern, central, southwestern, and western United States. The Company’s business consists of Less-than-truckload services (LTL). These services are provided by stand-alone business units within their respective regions. Vitran’s business is carried on through its subsidiaries, which hold the licenses and permits required to carry on business. In March 2013, Vitran Corp Inc completed divestiture of its Supply Chain Operation division to Legacy Supply Chain. In October 2013, Vitran Corporation Inc. completed the sale of its United States LTL business. In March 2014, TransForce Inc completed the acquisition of Vitran.

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