Marten Transport (MRTN) & Saia (SAIA) Head to Head Comparison

Marten Transport (NASDAQ: MRTN) and Saia (NASDAQ:SAIA) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation, earnings, dividends and profitability.

Volatility & Risk

Marten Transport has a beta of 1.27, suggesting that its share price is 27% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Saia has a beta of 0.78, suggesting that its share price is 22% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Marten Transport and Saia’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Marten Transport $687.80 million 1.25 $133.29 million $0.63 25.24
Saia $1.29 billion 1.03 $168.48 million $2.06 25.56

Saia has higher revenue and earnings than Marten Transport. Marten Transport is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Saia, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Marten Transport pays an annual dividend of $0.06 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Saia does not pay a dividend. Marten Transport pays out 9.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Marten Transport and Saia, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Marten Transport 0 2 0 0 2.00
Saia 0 2 4 0 2.67

Marten Transport presently has a consensus price target of $15.00, suggesting a potential downside of 5.06%. Saia has a consensus price target of $52.60, suggesting a potential downside of 0.09%. Given Saia’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Saia is more favorable than Marten Transport.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

41.5% of Marten Transport shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.7% of Saia shares are owned by institutional investors. 23.0% of Marten Transport shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.5% of Saia shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.


This table compares Marten Transport and Saia’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Marten Transport 4.96% 7.72% 5.18%
Saia 4.12% 10.84% 6.12%


Saia beats Marten Transport on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Marten Transport

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.

About Saia

Saia, Inc. is a transportation company. The Company provides regional and interregional less-than-truckload (LTL) services. The Company also offers a range of other value-added services, including non-asset truckload, expedited and logistics services across the United States. The Company’s subsidiary Saia Motor Freight Line, LLC (Saia LTL Freight) is a LTL carrier. As of December 31, 2016, Saia LTL Freight had served 34 states in the South, Southwest, Midwest, Pacific Northwest and West. Saia LTL Freight specializes in offering its customers a range of regional and interregional LTL services, including time-definite and expedited options. As of December 31, 2016, Saia LTL Freight operated a network consisting of 151 owned and leased locations. The Company’s other subsidiaries include Saia TL Plus, LLC, Saia Logistics Services, LLC, Saia Sales, LLC, Saia Metrogo, LLC, LinkEx, Inc. and Saia Motor Freight Mexico, S. DE R.L. DE C.V.

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