Mesa Air Group (NASDAQ:MESA) and Copa (NYSE:CPA) are both transportation companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, valuation, risk, profitability, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Mesa Air Group and Copa, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mesa Air Group 0 0 4 1 3.20
Copa 1 3 10 0 2.64

Mesa Air Group presently has a consensus price target of $16.60, suggesting a potential upside of 84.24%. Copa has a consensus price target of $97.82, suggesting a potential upside of 5.15%. Given Mesa Air Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Mesa Air Group is more favorable than Copa.

Dividends

Copa pays an annual dividend of $2.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Mesa Air Group does not pay a dividend. Copa pays out 39.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Copa has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

63.9% of Mesa Air Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 63.5% of Copa shares are held by institutional investors. 4.6% of Mesa Air Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Mesa Air Group and Copa’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mesa Air Group 5.76% 18.44% 4.29%
Copa 1.56% 11.81% 5.52%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Mesa Air Group and Copa’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mesa Air Group $681.59 million 0.32 $33.25 million $1.23 7.33
Copa $2.68 billion 1.47 $88.10 million $6.52 14.27

Copa has higher revenue and earnings than Mesa Air Group. Mesa Air Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Copa, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Copa beats Mesa Air Group on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Mesa Air Group

Mesa Air Group, Inc. operates as the holding company for Mesa Airlines, Inc., which provides regional air carrier services under capacity purchase agreements with the American Airlines and the United Airlines. As of September 30, 2018, it operated a fleet of 145 aircraft with approximately 730 daily departures to 110 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, and the Bahamas. The company was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

About Copa

Copa Holdings, S.A., through its subsidiaries, provides airline passenger and cargo services. The company offers flights to 75 destinations in 31 countries in North, Central, and South America, as well as the Caribbean. As of April 12, 2018, it operated a fleet of 101 aircraft comprising 81 Boeing 737NG aircraft and 20 EMBRAER-190s aircraft. Copa Holdings, S.A. was founded in 1947 and is based in Panama City, Panama.

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