China Southern Airlines (NYSE:ZNH) and Mesa Air Group (NASDAQ:MESA) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, profitability and earnings.


China Southern Airlines pays an annual dividend of $0.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Mesa Air Group does not pay a dividend. China Southern Airlines pays out 17.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. China Southern Airlines has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

0.6% of China Southern Airlines shares are owned by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares China Southern Airlines and Mesa Air Group’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
China Southern Airlines $16.40 billion 0.33 $882.22 million $3.85 7.22
Mesa Air Group $643.57 million 0.48 $32.82 million N/A N/A

China Southern Airlines has higher revenue and earnings than Mesa Air Group.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for China Southern Airlines and Mesa Air Group, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
China Southern Airlines 0 2 4 0 2.67
Mesa Air Group 0 0 4 1 3.20

Mesa Air Group has a consensus target price of $17.80, indicating a potential upside of 32.94%. Given Mesa Air Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Mesa Air Group is more favorable than China Southern Airlines.


This table compares China Southern Airlines and Mesa Air Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
China Southern Airlines N/A N/A N/A
Mesa Air Group N/A N/A N/A

About China Southern Airlines

China Southern Airlines Company Limited provides airlines transportation services in the People's Republic of China and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Airline Transportation Operations and Other. It offers passenger, cargo, mail delivery, and other extended transportation services. The company is involved in the provision of aircraft maintenance, ground, air catering, cargo handling, logistics, freight, import and export agency, and flight simulation services; and hotel and tour operations. As of December 31, 2017, it operated a fleet of 754 aircraft. China Southern Airlines Company Limited was founded in 1995 and is based in Guangzhou, the People's Republic of China. China Southern Airlines Company Limited is a subsidiary of China Southern Air Holding Limited Company.

About Mesa Air Group

Mesa Air Group, Inc. operates as the holding company for Mesa Airlines, Inc., which provides regional air services under capacity purchase agreements with the American Airlines and the United Airlines. As of March 31, 2018, it operated 145 aircraft with approximately 610 daily departures to 110 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Cuba. Mesa Air Group, Inc. was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

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