Head to Head Review: TravelCenters of America (TA) and Murphy USA (MUSA)

TravelCenters of America (NASDAQ: TA) and Murphy USA (NYSE:MUSA) are both retail/wholesale companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends and profitability.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares TravelCenters of America and Murphy USA’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
TravelCenters of America $5.51 billion 0.03 -$1.92 million $0.59 6.95
Murphy USA $11.59 billion 0.24 $221.49 million $4.47 17.86

Murphy USA has higher revenue and earnings than TravelCenters of America. TravelCenters of America is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Murphy USA, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

TravelCenters of America has a beta of 2.36, indicating that its share price is 136% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Murphy USA has a beta of 0.76, indicating that its share price is 24% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

34.1% of TravelCenters of America shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.4% of Murphy USA shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.5% of TravelCenters of America shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 7.3% of Murphy USA shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for TravelCenters of America and Murphy USA, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
TravelCenters of America 0 1 2 0 2.67
Murphy USA 1 3 1 0 2.00

TravelCenters of America currently has a consensus price target of $8.17, indicating a potential upside of 99.19%. Murphy USA has a consensus price target of $84.50, indicating a potential upside of 5.82%. Given TravelCenters of America’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe TravelCenters of America is more favorable than Murphy USA.

Profitability

This table compares TravelCenters of America and Murphy USA’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
TravelCenters of America 0.40% -1.79% -0.59%
Murphy USA 1.31% 24.19% 7.64%

Summary

Murphy USA beats TravelCenters of America on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About TravelCenters of America

TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters) operates and franchises travel centers and convenience store and restaurant locations. The Company’s segments include travel centers, convenience stores, and corporate and other. The Company offers a range of products and services, including diesel fuel and gasoline, as well as nonfuel products and services, such as truck repair and maintenance services, full service restaurants, quick service restaurants (QSRs), travel/convenience stores and various customer amenities. Its customers include trucking fleets and their drivers, independent truck drivers, highway and local motorists, and casual diners. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s business included 255 travel centers in 43 states in the United States primarily along the United States interstate highway system, and the province of Ontario, Canada. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s business included 233 convenience stores in 11 states in the United States.

About Murphy USA

Murphy USA Inc. is engaged in the marketing of retail motor fuel products and merchandise through a chain of retail stores. The Company operates through the Marketing segment. The Marketing segment includes its retail marketing sites and product supply, and wholesale assets. As of December 31, 2016, its retail stores were located in 26 states, primarily in the Southwest, Southeast and Midwest the United States. Out of the total 1,401 stores, 1,152 were branded Murphy USA and 249 were Murphy Express locations, as of December 31, 2016. Its retail stores under the brand name Murphy USA participate in the Walmart discount program. The Walmart discount program offers a cents-off per gallon purchased for fuel when using specific payment methods as decided by Walmart and the Company. Its business also includes product supply and wholesale assets, including product distribution terminals and pipeline positions.

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