USA Truck (NASDAQ: USAK) and Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II (NASDAQ:DSKE) are both small-cap transportation companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, earnings, risk and institutional ownership.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

65.9% of USA Truck shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 17.6% of Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II shares are held by institutional investors. 3.5% of USA Truck shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 20.0% of Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares USA Truck and Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
USA Truck -2.94% -20.68% -4.09%
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II N/A -24.73% -3.71%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for USA Truck and Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
USA Truck 0 2 1 0 2.33
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II 0 0 4 0 3.00

USA Truck presently has a consensus price target of $8.75, suggesting a potential downside of 12.85%. Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II has a consensus price target of $13.67, suggesting a potential upside of 11.02%. Given Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II is more favorable than USA Truck.

Volatility and Risk

USA Truck has a beta of 2.52, meaning that its stock price is 152% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II has a beta of -0.1, meaning that its stock price is 110% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares USA Truck and Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
USA Truck $417.62 million 0.19 $18.65 million ($1.53) -6.56
Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II $682.32 million 0.69 $74.48 million N/A N/A

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II has higher revenue and earnings than USA Truck.

Summary

Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II beats USA Truck on 9 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About USA Truck

USA Truck, Inc. is a truckload carrier providing transportation of general commodities throughout the continental United States and into and out of portions of Mexico and Canada. The Company operates through two segments: Trucking and Strategic Capacity Solutions (SCS). The Trucking segment consists of truckload and dedicated freight services. The SCS segment consists of freight brokerage and rail intermodal services. The Company transports full dry van trailer loads of freight from origin to destination without intermediate stops or handling. The Company offers a range of truckload and logistics services to a customer base that spans a range of industries. The Company’s fleet of approximately 1,832 tractors consists of 1,568 company tractors and 264 independent contractor tractors. The Company owns approximately 6,200 trailers. The Company also transports general commodities into and out of Mexico by allowing through-trailer service from its terminal in Laredo, Texas.

About Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. II

Daseke, Inc. is a consolidator of the open deck freight market in North America. The Company provides open deck transportation and logistics. It operates through two segments: Flatbed Solutions and Specialized Solutions. The Flatbed Solutions segment focuses on delivering transportation and logistics solutions that principally require the use of flatbed and retractable-sided transportation equipment. The Specialized Solutions segment focuses on delivering transportation and logistics solutions that principally include heavy haul, high-value customized, over-dimensional, step deck and removable gooseneck trailer solutions. As of July 5, 2017, the Company had a fleet of over 3,600 trucks and 7,500 open deck specialized trailers. The Company serves customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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