United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) and Forward Air Corporation (NASDAQ:FWRD) are both transportation companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitabiliy, valuation, risk, earnings, dividends, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for United Parcel Service and Forward Air Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United Parcel Service 0 10 5 0 2.33
Forward Air Corporation 0 5 0 0 2.00

United Parcel Service currently has a consensus target price of $114.54, indicating a potential upside of 1.89%. Forward Air Corporation has a consensus target price of $49.00, indicating a potential downside of 4.85%. Given United Parcel Service’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe United Parcel Service is more favorable than Forward Air Corporation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

53.1% of United Parcel Service shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.0% of Forward Air Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of United Parcel Service shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Forward Air Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares United Parcel Service and Forward Air Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
United Parcel Service $62.92 billion 1.55 $7.85 billion $4.07 27.62
Forward Air Corporation $1.03 billion 1.51 $144.42 million $1.92 26.82

United Parcel Service has higher revenue and earnings than Forward Air Corporation. Forward Air Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than United Parcel Service, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares United Parcel Service and Forward Air Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United Parcel Service 5.68% 417.18% 13.38%
Forward Air Corporation 5.68% 13.31% 10.40%

Dividends

United Parcel Service pays an annual dividend of $3.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Forward Air Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. United Parcel Service pays out 81.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Forward Air Corporation pays out 31.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. United Parcel Service has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years. United Parcel Service is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Risk and Volatility

United Parcel Service has a beta of 0.88, suggesting that its share price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Forward Air Corporation has a beta of 1.06, suggesting that its share price is 6% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

United Parcel Service beats Forward Air Corporation on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

United Parcel Service Company Profile

United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) is a package delivery company. The Company is a provider of global supply chain management solutions. The Company operates through three segments: U.S. Domestic Package operations, International Package operations, and Supply Chain & Freight operations. As of December 31, 2016, the Company delivered packages in over 220 countries and territories. The Company offers a spectrum of the United States domestic guaranteed ground and air package transportation services. The International Package segment includes the small package operations in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Canada and Latin America, the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and Africa. The Supply Chain & Freight segment includes its forwarding and logistics services, truckload freight brokerage, UPS Freight and its financial offerings through UPS Capital. The Company serves the global market for logistics services, which include transportation, distribution, contract logistics and ground freight.

Forward Air Corporation Company Profile

Forward Air Corporation is a freight and logistics company. The Company provides less-than-truckload (LTL), truckload, intermodal and pool distribution services across the United States and in Canada. The Company’s segments include Expedited LTL, Truckload Premium Services (TLS), Intermodal and Pool Distribution. Expedited LTL segment provides expedited regional, inter-regional and national LTL services. TLS segment is a provider of transportation management services, including, but not limited to, expedited truckload brokerage, fleet services, as well as security and temperature-controlled logistics services in the United States and Canada. Intermodal offers first- and last-mile transportation of freight both to and from seaports and railheads through fleet and third party transportation providers. Pool distribution involves managing high-frequency handling and distribution of time-sensitive product to numerous destinations in specific geographic regions.

Receive News & Stock Ratings for United Parcel Service Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for United Parcel Service Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.