Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II (NASDAQ: DSKE) and USA Truck (NASDAQ:USAK) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations and risk.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

20.5% of Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 53.4% of USA Truck shares are owned by institutional investors. 20.0% of Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of USA Truck shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II and USA Truck, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II 0 0 4 0 3.00
USA Truck 0 2 1 0 2.33

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II currently has a consensus target price of $13.67, suggesting a potential upside of 3.85%. USA Truck has a consensus target price of $8.75, suggesting a potential downside of 24.63%. Given Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II is more favorable than USA Truck.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II and USA Truck’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II $682.32 million 0.73 $74.48 million N/A N/A
USA Truck $417.62 million 0.22 $18.65 million ($1.53) -7.59

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II has higher revenue and earnings than USA Truck.

Profitability

This table compares Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II and USA Truck’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II N/A -24.73% -3.71%
USA Truck -2.94% -20.68% -4.09%

Volatility & Risk

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II has a beta of -0.22, suggesting that its stock price is 122% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, USA Truck has a beta of 2.51, suggesting that its stock price is 151% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II beats USA Truck on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II Company Profile

Daseke, Inc. is a consolidator of the open deck freight market in North America. The Company provides open deck transportation and logistics. It operates through two segments: Flatbed Solutions and Specialized Solutions. The Flatbed Solutions segment focuses on delivering transportation and logistics solutions that principally require the use of flatbed and retractable-sided transportation equipment. The Specialized Solutions segment focuses on delivering transportation and logistics solutions that principally include heavy haul, high-value customized, over-dimensional, step deck and removable gooseneck trailer solutions. As of July 5, 2017, the Company had a fleet of over 3,600 trucks and 7,500 open deck specialized trailers. The Company serves customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

USA Truck Company Profile

USA Truck, Inc. is a truckload carrier providing transportation of general commodities throughout the continental United States and into and out of portions of Mexico and Canada. The Company operates through two segments: Trucking and Strategic Capacity Solutions (SCS). The Trucking segment consists of truckload and dedicated freight services. The SCS segment consists of freight brokerage and rail intermodal services. The Company transports full dry van trailer loads of freight from origin to destination without intermediate stops or handling. The Company offers a range of truckload and logistics services to a customer base that spans a range of industries. The Company’s fleet of approximately 1,832 tractors consists of 1,568 company tractors and 264 independent contractor tractors. The Company owns approximately 6,200 trailers. The Company also transports general commodities into and out of Mexico by allowing through-trailer service from its terminal in Laredo, Texas.

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