Covenant Transportation Group (CVTI) and Saia (SAIA) Head-To-Head Contrast

Covenant Transportation Group (NASDAQ: CVTI) and Saia (NASDAQ:SAIA) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, dividends, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

63.1% of Covenant Transportation Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.7% of Saia shares are owned by institutional investors. 35.2% of Covenant Transportation Group shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.5% of Saia shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.



Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Covenant Transportation Group and Saia’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Covenant Transportation Group $705.01 million 0.76 $55.43 million $0.84 34.93
Saia $1.38 billion 1.37 $91.15 million $2.19 33.65

Saia has higher revenue and earnings than Covenant Transportation Group. Saia is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Covenant Transportation Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Covenant Transportation Group and Saia, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Covenant Transportation Group 0 2 2 0 2.50
Saia 1 3 3 0 2.29

Covenant Transportation Group presently has a consensus price target of $32.25, indicating a potential upside of 9.92%. Saia has a consensus price target of $71.80, indicating a potential downside of 2.58%. Given Covenant Transportation Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Covenant Transportation Group is more favorable than Saia.

Profitability

This table compares Covenant Transportation Group and Saia’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Covenant Transportation Group 7.94% 6.26% 2.51%
Saia 6.61% 10.80% 6.06%

Volatility & Risk

Covenant Transportation Group has a beta of 1.53, indicating that its stock price is 53% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Saia has a beta of 0.8, indicating that its stock price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Saia beats Covenant Transportation Group on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Covenant Transportation Group

Covenant Transportation Group, Inc. is a provider of expedited long haul freight transportation, primarily using two-person driver teams in transcontinental lanes. The Company’s services also include refrigerated, dedicated, cross-border, regional and brokerage. The Company’s segments include Truckload and Other. The Truckload segment includes the operations of Covenant Transport, Inc. (Covenant Transport), its flagship operation, which provides expedited long haul, dedicated, temperature-controlled and regional solo-driver service; Southern Refrigerated Transport, Inc. (SRT), which provides primarily long haul, regional, dedicated and intermodal temperature-controlled service, and Star Transportation, Inc. (Star), which provides regional solo-driver and dedicated services, primarily in the southeastern United States. The Company provides truckload transportation services throughout the continental United States, into and out of Mexico, and into and out of portions of Canada.

About Saia

Saia, Inc. is a transportation company. The Company provides regional and interregional less-than-truckload (LTL) services. The Company also offers a range of other value-added services, including non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services across the United States. The Company’s subsidiary Saia Motor Freight Line, LLC (Saia LTL Freight) is a LTL carrier. As of December 31, 2016, Saia LTL Freight had served 34 states in the South, Southwest, Midwest, Pacific Northwest and West. Saia LTL Freight specializes in offering its customers a range of regional and interregional LTL services, including time-definite and expedited options. As of December 31, 2016, Saia LTL Freight operated a network consisting of 151 owned and leased locations. The Company’s other subsidiaries include Saia TL Plus, LLC, Saia Logistics Services, LLC, Saia Sales, LLC, Saia Metrogo, LLC, LinkEx, Inc. and Saia Motor Freight Mexico, S. DE R.L. DE C.V.

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