J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ: JBHT) and USA Truck (NASDAQ:USAK) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

71.6% of J.B. Hunt Transport Services shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 53.4% of USA Truck shares are held by institutional investors. 4.3% of J.B. Hunt Transport Services shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.5% of USA Truck shares are held 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.

Volatility and Risk

J.B. Hunt Transport Services has a beta of 0.93, suggesting that its share price is 7% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, USA Truck has a beta of 2.51, suggesting that its share price is 151% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for J.B. Hunt Transport Services and USA Truck, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
J.B. Hunt Transport Services 0 7 7 0 2.50
USA Truck 0 2 1 0 2.33

J.B. Hunt Transport Services presently has a consensus target price of $98.79, indicating a potential downside of 0.57%. USA Truck has a consensus target price of $8.75, indicating a potential downside of 24.63%. Given J.B. Hunt Transport Services’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe J.B. Hunt Transport Services is more favorable than USA Truck.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares J.B. Hunt Transport Services and USA Truck’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
J.B. Hunt Transport Services $6.77 billion 1.61 $1.06 billion $3.82 26.01
USA Truck $417.62 million 0.22 $18.65 million ($1.53) -7.59

J.B. Hunt Transport Services has higher revenue and earnings than USA Truck. USA Truck is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than J.B. Hunt Transport Services, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

J.B. Hunt Transport Services pays an annual dividend of $0.92 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. USA Truck does not pay a dividend. J.B. Hunt Transport Services pays out 24.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. J.B. Hunt Transport Services has increased its dividend for 13 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares J.B. Hunt Transport Services and USA Truck’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
J.B. Hunt Transport Services 6.32% 30.00% 11.08%
USA Truck -2.94% -20.68% -4.09%

Summary

J.B. Hunt Transport Services beats USA Truck on 14 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About J.B. Hunt Transport Services

J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. is a surface transportation, delivery, and logistics company in North America. The Company segments include Intermodal (JBI), Dedicated Contract Services (DCS), Integrated Capacity Solutions (ICS) and Truck (JBT). The Company, through its subsidiaries, provides transportation and delivery services to a range of customers and consumers throughout the continental United States, Canada and Mexico. The JBI segment draws on the intermodal services of rail carriers for the underlying linehaul movement of its equipment between rail ramps. Its DCS segment focuses on private fleet conversion and creation in replenishment, specialized equipment and final-mile delivery services. Its ICS segment provides traditional freight brokerage and transportation logistics solutions to customers through relationships with third-party carriers and integration. Its JBT segment offers full-load, dry-van freight, utilizing tractors operating over roads and highways.

About USA Truck

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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