Brink’s (NYSE: BCO) and Forward Air (NASDAQ:FWRD) are both business services companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

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This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Brink’s and Forward Air, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Brink’s 0 0 5 0 3.00
Forward Air 0 4 2 0 2.33

Brink’s presently has a consensus price target of $98.00, indicating a potential upside of 31.10%. Forward Air has a consensus price target of $60.00, indicating a potential upside of 11.71%. Given Brink’s’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Brink’s is more favorable than Forward Air.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Brink’s and Forward Air’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Brink’s $3.35 billion 1.13 $16.70 million $3.03 24.67
Forward Air $1.10 billion 1.44 $87.32 million $2.36 22.76

Forward Air has lower revenue, but higher earnings than Brink’s. Forward Air is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Brink’s, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Brink’s has a beta of 1.76, indicating that its stock price is 76% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Forward Air has a beta of 1.25, indicating that its stock price is 25% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

93.1% of Brink’s shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.4% of Forward Air shares are held by institutional investors. 2.5% of Brink’s shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Forward Air shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Brink’s and Forward Air’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Brink’s 0.50% 36.76% 6.06%
Forward Air 7.93% 13.91% 10.80%

Dividends

Brink’s pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.8%. Forward Air pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.1%. Brink’s pays out 19.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Forward Air pays out 25.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years.

Summary

Brink’s beats Forward Air on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Brink’s

The Brink's Company provides secure transportation, cash management, and other security-related services worldwide. The company offers cash-in-transit services, including armored vehicle transportation of valuables; automated teller machine (ATM) services, such as cash replenishment, replenishment forecasting, cash optimization, ATM remote monitoring, service call dispatching, transaction processing, installation, and first and second line maintenance; and network infrastructure services. It also provides transportation services for valued commodities, including diamonds, jewelry, precious metals, securities, currency, high-tech devices, electronics, and pharmaceuticals; and cash management services, such as money processing, deploying and servicing intelligent safes and safe control devices, and check imaging, as well as cashier balancing, counterfeit detection, account consolidation, and electronic reporting services. In addition, the company offers payment services, including bill payment processing, mobile phone top-up, and prepaid cards; and commercial security system services, such as security system design and installation services that include alarms, motion detectors, closed-circuit televisions, and digital video recorders, as well as access control systems comprising card and biometric readers, electronic locks, and turnstiles. Further, it provides security and guarding services to protect airports, offices, warehouses, stores, and public venues. The company serves banks and financial institutions, retailers, government agencies, mints, jewelers, and other commercial operations. The company was formerly known as The Pittston Company and changed its name to The Brink's Company in May 2003. The Brink's Company was founded in 1838 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

About Forward Air

Forward Air Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an asset-light freight and logistics company in the United State and Canada. The company operates through four segments: Expedited Less-than-truckload (LTL), Truckload Premium Services (TLS), Intermodal, and Pool Distribution (Pool). The Expedited LTL segment provides expedited regional, inter-regional, and national LTL services, as well as local pick-up and delivery services. It also offers shipment consolidation and deconsolidation, warehousing, customs brokerage, and other handling services. This segment provides its transportation services through a network of terminals located at or near airports. The TLS segment offers expedited truckload brokerage, dedicated fleet, and high security and temperature-controlled logistics services. The Intermodal segment provides intermodal container drayage services; and contract, and container freight station warehouse and handling services. The Pool segment offers high-frequency handling and distribution of time-sensitive products to various destinations. Forward Air Corporation was founded in 1981 and is headquartered in Greeneville, Tennessee.

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