Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: WRE) and Cole Real Estate Investments (NYSE:COLE) are both financials companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, risk, dividends, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.3%. Cole Real Estate Investments does not pay a dividend. Washington Real Estate Investment Trust pays out 400.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Washington Real Estate Investment Trust and Cole Real Estate Investments’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust $313.26 million 7.02 $119.33 million $0.30 93.37
Cole Real Estate Investments N/A N/A N/A $0.20 N/A

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Cole Real Estate Investments. Cole Real Estate Investments is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Washington Real Estate Investment Trust and Cole Real Estate Investments, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust 1 1 2 0 2.25
Cole Real Estate Investments 0 0 0 0 N/A

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust presently has a consensus target price of $30.33, indicating a potential upside of 8.29%.

Profitability

This table compares Washington Real Estate Investment Trust and Cole Real Estate Investments’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust 7.10% 2.10% 0.98%
Cole Real Estate Investments N/A N/A N/A

Insider and Institutional Ownership

85.6% of Washington Real Estate Investment Trust shares are held by institutional investors. 0.6% of Washington Real Estate Investment Trust shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust beats Cole Real Estate Investments on 9 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Washington Real Estate Investment Trust

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust. The Company’s business consists of the ownership and operation of real property in the greater Washington metro region. The Company owns a diversified portfolio of office buildings, multifamily buildings and retail centers. The Company’s segments include office, multifamily and retail. The Company’s office properties provide office space for various types of businesses and professions. The Company’s multifamily properties provide rental housing for individuals and families throughout the Washington metro region. Its retail properties are typically grocery store anchored neighborhood centers that include other small shop tenants or regional power centers with various junior box tenants. As of April 4, 2017, it owned a diversified portfolio of 50 properties, totaling approximately 6.0 million square feet of commercial space and 4,480 residential units, and land held for development.

About Cole Real Estate Investments

Cole Real Estate Investments, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company operates in two segments: Real Estate Investment (REI) and Private Capital Management (PCM). The Company’s REI segment is conducted through Cole REIT III Operating Partnership, LP (CCPT III OP). The Company’s PCM segment is conducted through Cole Capital Advisors, Inc. (CCA). Through its REI segment, the Company acquires and operates a diverse portfolio of core commercial real estate investments primarily consisting of necessity retail properties located throughout the United States, including United States protectorates. The Company’s PCM segment is responsible for managing the Managed REITs’ affairs on a day-to-day basis, identifying and making acquisitions and investments on the Managed REITs’ behalf. In February 2014, American Realty Capital Properties Inc purchased Cole Real Estate Investments, Inc.

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