Matson (NYSE: MATX) and Euronav (NYSE:EURN) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation and dividends.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

84.2% of Matson shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 22.7% of Euronav shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.6% of Matson shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Matson and Euronav, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Matson 1 2 1 0 2.00
Euronav 0 1 2 0 2.67

Matson currently has a consensus price target of $25.67, suggesting a potential downside of 10.48%. Euronav has a consensus price target of $9.25, suggesting a potential upside of 13.50%. Given Euronav’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Euronav is more favorable than Matson.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Matson and Euronav’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Matson $1.94 billion 0.63 $80.50 million $1.94 14.78
Euronav $691.26 million 1.88 $204.04 million $0.21 38.81

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

Volatility & Risk

Matson has a beta of 1.27, suggesting that its stock price is 27% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Euronav has a beta of 0.78, suggesting that its stock price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Matson and Euronav’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Matson 4.12% 17.49% 4.09%
Euronav 5.90% 0.49% 0.31%

Dividends

Matson pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Euronav pays an annual dividend of $0.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. Matson pays out 41.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Euronav pays out 57.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Matson has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years. Matson is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Matson beats Euronav on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Matson

Matson, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an ocean cargo carrier. The company operates in two segments, Ocean Transportation and Logistics. The Ocean Transportation segment offers ocean transportation services to the domestic economies of Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam, as well as to other island economies in Micronesia and in the South Pacific. This segment also operates an expedited service from China to Long Beach, California; and provides container and conventional freight services between New Zealand and other South Pacific Islands including Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Niue, Vanuatu, Nauru, and the Solomon Islands. It primarily transports dry containers of mixed commodities, refrigerated commodities, packaged foods and beverages, building materials, automobiles, and household goods; general sustenance cargo; and garments, footwear, and other retail merchandise. This segment also offers container stevedoring, container equipment maintenance, and other terminal services on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, as well as in the Alaska locations of Anchorage, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor. It operates a fleet of 22 owned and 5 chartered vessels. The Logistics segment provides multimodal transportation services, including domestic and international rail intermodal service; long-haul and regional highway brokerage, specialized hauling, flat-bed and project work, less-than-truckload, and expedited freight; and supply chain management, and warehousing and distribution services. This segment also offers freight forwarding, consolidation, customs brokerage, purchase order management, and non-vessel operating common carrier services. The company was formerly known as Alexander & Baldwin Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to Matson, Inc. in June 2012. Matson, Inc. was founded in 1882 and is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii.

About Euronav

Euronav NV, together with its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and manages a fleet of vessels for the ocean transportation and storage of crude oil and petroleum products worldwide. The company operates through two segments, Tankers; and Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading Operations. As of April 4, 2017, it owned and operated a fleet of 55 double hulled vessels, including 31 very large crude carriers, 1 V-Plus vessel, 19 Suezmax vessels, and 2 floating, storage, and offloading vessels, as well as 2 Suezmax vessels under construction. The company was incorporated in 2003 and is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium.

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