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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

97.0% of Saia shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 85.3% of Celadon Group shares are held by institutional investors. 1.5% of Saia shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.8% of Celadon Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Saia and Celadon Group, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Saia 0 2 4 0 2.67
Celadon Group 0 3 5 0 2.63

Saia presently has a consensus target price of $52.60, suggesting a potential downside of 8.60%. Celadon Group has a consensus target price of $22.60, suggesting a potential upside of 322.43%. Given Celadon Group’s higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Celadon Group is more favorable than Saia.

Volatility & Risk

Saia has a beta of 0.78, suggesting that its share price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Celadon Group has a beta of 1.72, suggesting that its share price is 72% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Celadon Group pays an annual dividend of $0.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Saia does not pay a dividend. Celadon Group pays out 40.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Saia and Celadon Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Saia $1.29 billion 1.13 $168.48 million $2.06 27.94
Celadon Group $1.05 billion 0.14 $83.46 million $0.20 26.75

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Saia 4.12% 10.84% 6.12%
Celadon Group 0.50% 1.41% 0.49%

Summary

Saia beats Celadon Group on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Saia Company Profile

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.

Celadon Group Company Profile

Celadon Group, Inc. (Celadon) is a truckload freight transportation provider. The Company’s segments are asset-based, asset-light, and equipment leasing and services. Its services involve point-to-point shipping for its customers within the United States, between the United States and Mexico, and between the United States and Canada. The Company’s primary asset-based services include the United States domestic dry van, refrigerated and flatbed service; cross-border service between the United States and each of Mexico and Canada; intra-Mexico and intra-Canada service; contract service; regional and specialized short haul service, and rail intermodal service. The Company’s primary asset-light services include freight brokerage, warehousing, less-than truckload consolidation and supply chain logistics services. Celadon’s equipment leasing and services segment consists primarily of leasing activities with independent contractors and other trucking fleets.

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