Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ: HA) and Avianca Holdings (NYSE:AVH) are both transportation companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, risk, dividends, earnings and institutional ownership.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

90.4% of Hawaiian Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 2.8% of Avianca Holdings shares are held by institutional investors. 2.3% of Hawaiian Holdings shares are held 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.

Risk & Volatility

Hawaiian Holdings has a beta of 1.38, meaning that its share price is 38% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Avianca Holdings has a beta of 0.87, meaning that its share price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Hawaiian Holdings and Avianca Holdings, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Hawaiian Holdings 2 5 5 0 2.25
Avianca Holdings 1 3 0 0 1.75

Hawaiian Holdings presently has a consensus target price of $51.27, indicating a potential upside of 21.50%. Avianca Holdings has a consensus target price of $9.00, indicating a potential upside of 17.80%. Given Hawaiian Holdings’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Hawaiian Holdings is more favorable than Avianca Holdings.

Dividends

Avianca Holdings pays an annual dividend of $0.09 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.2%. Hawaiian Holdings does not pay a dividend. Avianca Holdings pays out 11.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Hawaiian Holdings and Avianca Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Hawaiian Holdings 8.88% 44.12% 11.29%
Avianca Holdings 2.20% 13.27% 1.81%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Hawaiian Holdings and Avianca Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Hawaiian Holdings $2.59 billion 0.87 $606.10 million $4.28 9.86
Avianca Holdings $4.33 billion 0.22 $555.92 million $0.76 10.05

Hawaiian Holdings has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Avianca Holdings. Hawaiian Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Avianca Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Hawaiian Holdings beats Avianca Holdings on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Hawaiian Holdings

Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. is a holding company. The Company is engaged in the scheduled air transportation of passengers and cargo amongst the Hawaiian Islands (the Neighbor Island routes), between the Hawaiian Islands and certain cities in the United States (the North America routes), and between the Hawaiian Islands and the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Asia (the International routes), collectively referred to as its Scheduled Operations. It offers non-stop service to Hawai’i from United States gateway cities. As of December 31, 2016, it also provided approximately 160 daily flights between the Hawaiian Islands. The Company operates various charter flights. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s fleet consisted of 20 Boeing 717-200 aircraft for the Neighbor Island routes, eight Boeing 767-300 aircraft, and 23 Airbus A330-200 aircraft for the North America, International, and charter routes.

About Avianca Holdings

Avianca Holdings SA is a Panama-based company engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the provision of air transportation services for passengers and commercial purposes. The Company was originally established as a strategic alliance between Aerovias del Continente Americano SA (AVIANCA) and Grupo TACA Holdings Limited (GTH), and it mainly operates in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. In addition, through codeshare agreements, the Company is active in the operation of other international passenger air routes. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned such subsidiaries as Latin Airways Corporation and LifeMiles Corporation, among others. On December 28, 2012, the merger of subsidiaries Latin Airways Corporation, as absorbing company, with Synergy Ocean Air Colombia SAS and Soac 2 SAS was formalized. On June 18, 2013, the Company received the first out of 15 ATR 72-600, a turbo-propelled aircraft from ATR, a company engaged in regional aircraft.

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