China Southern Airlines (NYSE:ZNH) and Deutsche Lufthansa (OTCMKTS:DLAKY) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, dividends and risk.

Risk and Volatility

China Southern Airlines has a beta of 1.5, indicating that its share price is 50% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Deutsche Lufthansa has a beta of 0.85, indicating that its share price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares China Southern Airlines and Deutsche Lufthansa’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
Deutsche Lufthansa 6.59% 25.87% 6.21%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for China Southern Airlines and Deutsche Lufthansa, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
China Southern Airlines 0 2 4 0 2.67
Deutsche Lufthansa 2 2 2 0 2.00

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares China Southern Airlines and Deutsche Lufthansa’s gross 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 0.40 $882.22 million $3.85 8.61
Deutsche Lufthansa $40.19 billion 0.25 $2.67 billion N/A N/A

Deutsche Lufthansa has higher revenue and earnings than China Southern Airlines.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

0.5% of China Southern Airlines shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.2% of Deutsche Lufthansa shares are held by institutional investors. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

China Southern Airlines pays an annual dividend of $0.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Deutsche Lufthansa pays an annual dividend of $0.67 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.1%. 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.

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 Deutsche Lufthansa

Deutsche Lufthansa AG operates as an aviation company in Germany and internationally. It operates through Network Airlines, Point-to-Point Airlines, Logistics, MRO, Catering segments. The Network Airlines segment offers passenger services through a route network of 263 destinations in 86 countries. The Point-to-Point Airlines segment provides passenger services through a route network of 192 destinations in 62 countries. The Logistics segment offers a range of cargo transport services for various cargos, including live animals, valuable cargo, mail, dangerous goods, and temperature-sensitive cargo. This segment serves approximately 300 destinations in approximately 100 countries. The MRO segment provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for civilian commercial aircraft. It serves airlines and aircraft leasing companies, operators of VIP jets, and public-sector clients. The Catering segment offers catering, in-flight sales and in-flight entertainment, in-flight service equipment, and the associated logistics, as well as consulting services and operating airport lounges. The company also provides consulting and IT services for the aviation industry; training courses in simulator training, emergency and service drill, and e-learning; business travel management solutions in the area of payment and analysis of corporate travel; and aviation and transport insurance products, as well as insurance brokerage, reinsurance, and risk management services. As of December 31, 2017, it had a fleet of 728 aircraft. Deutsche Lufthansa AG is headquartered in Cologne, Germany.

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