Head to Head Contrast: Knight-Swift (KNX) vs. ArcBest (ARCB)

Knight-Swift (NYSE: KNX) and ArcBest (NASDAQ:ARCB) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, profitability, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, risk and earnings.

Risk & Volatility

Knight-Swift has a beta of 1.72, indicating that its share price is 72% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, ArcBest has a beta of 1.79, indicating that its share price is 79% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Knight-Swift and ArcBest’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Knight-Swift $2.43 billion 2.98 $484.29 million $1.38 29.39
ArcBest $2.83 billion 0.44 $59.72 million $1.33 36.13

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

Dividends

Knight-Swift pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. ArcBest pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.7%. Knight-Swift pays out 17.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. ArcBest pays out 24.1% 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. Knight-Swift has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Knight-Swift and ArcBest, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Knight-Swift 0 6 12 0 2.67
ArcBest 0 9 0 0 2.00

Knight-Swift currently has a consensus price target of $52.24, indicating a potential upside of 28.79%. ArcBest has a consensus price target of $34.88, indicating a potential downside of 27.42%. Given Knight-Swift’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Knight-Swift is more favorable than ArcBest.

Profitability

This table compares Knight-Swift and ArcBest’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Knight-Swift 13.22% 5.75% 3.63%
ArcBest 2.68% 7.79% 3.67%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

80.3% of Knight-Swift shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 89.8% of ArcBest shares are held by institutional investors. 27.5% of Knight-Swift shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.2% of ArcBest shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Knight-Swift beats ArcBest on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Knight-Swift

Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides truckload transportation and logistics services in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The company operates through six segments: Knight Trucking, Knight Logistics, Swift Truckload, Swift Dedicated, Swift Refrigerated, and Swift Intermodal. Its trucking services include dry van, refrigerated, dedicated, drayage, flatbed, and cross-border transportation of various products, goods, and materials. The company also provides logistics, freight brokerage and intermodal, freight management, and sourcing, solutions, as well as other non-trucking services, such as used equipment sales and leasing to independent contractors and third-parties. As of December 31, 2017, it had a fleet of 18,381 company-owned tractors; 4,688 independent contractor tractors; 74,949 trailers; and 9,122 intermodal containers. It serves retail, food and beverage, consumer products, paper products, transportation and logistics, housing and building, automotive, and manufacturing industries. Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

About ArcBest

ArcBest Corporation provides freight transportation services and integrated logistics solutions worldwide. It operates through three segments: Asset-Based, ArcBest, and FleetNet. The Asset-Based segment transports general commodities, such as food, textiles, apparel, furniture, appliances, chemicals, nonbulk petroleum products, rubber, plastics, metal and metal products, wood, glass, automotive parts, machinery, and miscellaneous manufactured products through less-than-truckload services. This segment also offers motor carrier freight transportation services to customers in Mexico through arrangements with trucking companies. The ArcBest segment provides expedite freight transportation services to commercial and government customers; premium logistics services, such as deployment of specialized equipment to meet line haul requirements; and international freight transportation with air, ocean, and ground services. This segment also offers third-party transportation brokerage services by sourcing various capacity solutions, including dry van over the road and intermodal, temperature-controlled and refrigerated, flatbed, intermodal or container shipping, and specialized equipment; full-container and less-than-container load ocean transportation services; warehousing and distribution services; managed transportation services; and moving services to ?do-it-yourself' consumer and corporate account employee relocations, as well as provides final mile, time critical, product launch, warehousing, retail logistics, supply chain optimization, and trade show shipping services. The FleetNet segment provides roadside assistance and maintenance management services for commercial vehicles through third-party service providers. The company was formerly known as Arkansas Best Corporation and changed its name to ArcBest Corporation in May 2014. ArcBest Corporation was founded in 1923 and is headquartered in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

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