Critical Analysis: Marten Transport (MRTN) & Its Rivals

Marten Transport (NASDAQ: MRTN) is one of 15 public companies in the “Freight Trucking” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare Marten Transport to similar businesses based on the strength of its risk, dividends, earnings, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Profitability

This table compares Marten Transport and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marten Transport 4.87% 7.45% 5.04%
Marten Transport Competitors 5.01% 10.48% 5.37%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Marten Transport and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Marten Transport $687.80 million $133.29 million 31.80
Marten Transport Competitors $1.54 billion $228.59 million 29.91

Marten Transport’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than Marten Transport. Marten Transport is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Marten Transport and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marten Transport 0 2 0 0 2.00
Marten Transport Competitors 90 610 579 25 2.41

Marten Transport presently has a consensus target price of $15.00, suggesting a potential downside of 22.68%. As a group, “Freight Trucking” companies have a potential upside of 5.56%. Given Marten Transport’s peers stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Marten Transport has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

42.9% of Marten Transport shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 58.6% of shares of all “Freight Trucking” companies are held by institutional investors. 23.0% of Marten Transport shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 24.4% of shares of all “Freight Trucking” companies are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Marten Transport has a beta of 1.32, suggesting that its stock price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Marten Transport’s peers have a beta of 1.03, suggesting that their average stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Marten Transport pays an annual dividend of $0.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.5%. Marten Transport pays out 16.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. As a group, “Freight Trucking” companies pay a dividend yield of 0.6% and pay out 16.2% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Marten Transport lags its peers as a dividend stock, given its lower dividend yield and higher payout ratio.

Summary

Marten Transport peers beat Marten Transport on 13 of the 15 factors compared.

Marten Transport Company Profile

Marten Transport, Ltd. is a temperature-sensitive truckload carrier. The Company focuses on transporting and distributing food and other consumer-packaged goods that require a temperature-controlled or insulated environment. The Company operates through four segments: Truckload, Dedicated, Intermodal and Brokerage. It operates throughout the United States and in parts of Canada and Mexico. The Company’s medium-to-long-haul traffic lanes are between the Midwest and the West Coast, Southwest, Southeast, and the East Coast, as well as from California to the Pacific Northwest. It provides regional truckload carrier services in the Southeast, West Coast, Midwest, South Central and Northeast regions. It also offers loading and unloading activities, equipment detention and other ancillary services. The Company’s Truckload segment provides a combination of regional short-haul and medium-to-long-haul full-load transportation services.

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