Comstock Holding Companies (NASDAQ: CHCI) and Transcontinental Realty Investors (NYSE:TCI) are both small-cap construction companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, risk, institutional ownership and earnings.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

9.9% of Comstock Holding Companies shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 2.1% of Transcontinental Realty Investors shares are held by institutional investors. 46.4% of Comstock Holding Companies shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 81.0% of Transcontinental Realty Investors shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Comstock Holding Companies and Transcontinental Realty Investors, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Comstock Holding Companies 0 0 0 0 N/A
Transcontinental Realty Investors 0 2 0 0 2.00

Transcontinental Realty Investors has a consensus price target of $20.00, indicating a potential downside of 29.63%. Given Transcontinental Realty Investors’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Transcontinental Realty Investors is more favorable than Comstock Holding Companies.

Risk & Volatility

Comstock Holding Companies has a beta of -0.34, suggesting that its stock price is 134% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Transcontinental Realty Investors has a beta of -0.39, suggesting that its stock price is 139% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Comstock Holding Companies and Transcontinental Realty Investors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Comstock Holding Companies -13.37% -92.61% -7.17%
Transcontinental Realty Investors -13.64% -7.61% -1.38%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Comstock Holding Companies and Transcontinental Realty Investors’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Comstock Holding Companies $41.58 million 0.13 -$8.99 million ($1.47) -1.10
Transcontinental Realty Investors $118.47 million 2.09 $30,000.00 ($2.01) -14.14

Transcontinental Realty Investors has higher revenue and earnings than Comstock Holding Companies. Transcontinental Realty Investors is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Comstock Holding Companies, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Transcontinental Realty Investors beats Comstock Holding Companies on 7 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Comstock Holding Companies Company Profile

Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. (Comstock ), formerly Comstock Homebuilding Companies, Inc. is a diversified real estate development and services company focused on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Company builds a range of products including apartments, single-family homes, townhouses, mid-rise condominiums, high-rise multi-family condominiums and mixed-use (residential and commercial) developments. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had built and delivered more than 5,300 homes. The Company has built homes and apartment buildings in suburban communities, where it focuses on low density products. The Company’s apartment buildings are developed as rental properties to be held and operated for its own purposes, converted at some point to for-sale condominium units or sold on a merchant build basis. In March 7, 2012, Cascades II completed the sale of its Potomac Square Apartment project to an affiliate of CAPREIT Acquisition Corporation.

Transcontinental Realty Investors Company Profile

Transcontinental Realty Investors, Inc. is an externally advised and managed real estate investment company that owns a portfolio of income-producing properties and land held for development. The Company’s segments are Commercial Properties, Apartments, Land and Other. Its portfolio of income-producing properties includes residential apartment communities, office buildings and other commercial properties. It acquires land mainly in in-fill locations or suburban markets. The Company’s income-producing properties consist of approximately eight commercial properties, including five office buildings, two retail properties and an industrial warehouse, comprising in aggregate approximately 1.9 million square feet; a golf course comprising approximately 96.09 acres, and approximately 50 residential apartment communities comprising over 7,980 units, excluding apartments being developed. In addition, it owns approximately 3,660 acres of land held for development.

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