Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP) and Amerco (NASDAQ:UHAL) are both mid-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Union Pacific Corporation and Amerco, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Union Pacific Corporation 0 10 8 0 2.44
Amerco 0 0 0 0 N/A

Union Pacific Corporation currently has a consensus target price of $112.38, indicating a potential upside of 8.16%. Given Union Pacific Corporation’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Union Pacific Corporation is more favorable than Amerco.

Dividends

Union Pacific Corporation pays an annual dividend of $2.42 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Amerco does not pay a dividend. Union Pacific Corporation pays out 43.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Amerco has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

79.9% of Union Pacific Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 30.0% of Amerco shares are held by institutional investors. 0.2% of Union Pacific Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 42.6% of Amerco shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Union Pacific Corporation and Amerco’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Union Pacific Corporation 21.79% 22.70% 8.05%
Amerco 10.92% 12.85% 3.86%

Volatility and Risk

Union Pacific Corporation has a beta of 0.81, meaning that its stock price is 19% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Amerco has a beta of 1.1, meaning that its stock price is 10% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Union Pacific Corporation and Amerco’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Union Pacific Corporation $20.72 billion 4.01 $9.80 billion $5.52 18.82
Amerco $3.46 billion 2.02 $1.19 billion $19.27 18.49

Union Pacific Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Amerco. Amerco is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Union Pacific Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Union Pacific Corporation beats Amerco on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Union Pacific Corporation

Union Pacific Corporation is a railroad operating company in the United States. The Company operates through its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad Company (UPRR). Its business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. Its freight traffic consists of bulk, manifest, and premium business. Bulk traffic primarily consists of coal, grain, soda ash, ethanol, rock and crude oil shipped in unit trains-trains transporting a single commodity from one origin to one destination. Manifest traffic includes individual carload or less than train-load business involving commodities, such as lumber, paper, food and chemicals. The transportation of finished vehicles, auto parts, intermodal containers and truck trailers are included as part of its premium business. As of December 31, 2016, its network included 32,070 route miles, linking Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast ports with the Midwest and Eastern United States gateways.

About Amerco

AMERCO is a do-it-yourself moving and storage operator through its subsidiary, U-Haul International, Inc. (U-Haul). The Company supplies its products and services to help people move and store their household and commercial goods through U-Haul. It sells U-Haul brand boxes, tape, and other moving and self-storage products and services to do-it-yourself moving and storage customers at its distribution outlets and through uhaul.com and eMove Websites. The Company operates through three segments: Moving and Storage; Property and Casualty Insurance, and Life Insurance. The Moving and Storage segment includes the operations of AMERCO, U-Haul and Amerco Real Estate Company, and the subsidiaries of U-Haul and Real Estate. The Property and Casualty Insurance segment consists of the operations of Repwest Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, and ARCOA Risk Retention Group. The Life Insurance segment consists of the operations of Oxford Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries.

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