American Tower Corporation (REIT) (NYSE: AMT) and OUTFRONT Media (NYSE:OUT) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, earnings, profitability, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Dividends

American Tower Corporation (REIT) pays an annual dividend of $2.64 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. OUTFRONT Media pays an annual dividend of $1.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.0%. American Tower Corporation (REIT) pays out 100.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. OUTFRONT Media pays out 171.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. American Tower Corporation (REIT) has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

American Tower Corporation (REIT) has a beta of 0.74, suggesting that its share price is 26% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, OUTFRONT Media has a beta of 1.15, suggesting that its share price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.0% of American Tower Corporation (REIT) shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.9% of American Tower Corporation (REIT) shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of OUTFRONT Media shares are owned 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 American Tower Corporation (REIT) and OUTFRONT Media, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Tower Corporation (REIT) 0 0 12 0 3.00
OUTFRONT Media 0 2 4 0 2.67

American Tower Corporation (REIT) presently has a consensus target price of $154.82, suggesting a potential upside of 2.84%. OUTFRONT Media has a consensus target price of $30.17, suggesting a potential upside of 25.64%. Given OUTFRONT Media’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe OUTFRONT Media is more favorable than American Tower Corporation (REIT).

Profitability

This table compares American Tower Corporation (REIT) and OUTFRONT Media’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Tower Corporation (REIT) 18.63% 16.98% 3.80%
OUTFRONT Media 7.71% 9.57% 3.12%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares American Tower Corporation (REIT) and OUTFRONT Media’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Tower Corporation (REIT) $5.79 billion 11.16 $956.42 million $2.63 57.24
OUTFRONT Media $1.51 billion 2.20 $90.90 million $0.84 28.58

American Tower Corporation (REIT) has higher revenue and earnings than OUTFRONT Media. OUTFRONT Media is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than American Tower Corporation (REIT), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

American Tower Corporation (REIT) beats OUTFRONT Media on 14 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About American Tower Corporation (REIT)

American Tower Corporation (ATC) is a holding company. The Company operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT), which owns, operates and develops multitenant communications real estate. ATC’s segments include U.S. property, Asia property, EMEA property, Latin America property, Services and Other. Its primary business is property operations, which include the leasing of space on communications sites to wireless service providers, radio and television broadcast companies, wireless data providers, government agencies and municipalities, and tenants in various other industries. Its U.S. property segment includes operations in the United States. Its Asia property segment includes operations in India. The EMEA property segment includes operations in Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The Latin America property segment includes operations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru. Its services segment offers tower-related services in the United States.

About OUTFRONT Media

OUTFRONT Media Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT), which provides advertising space (displays) on out-of-home advertising structures and sites in the United States and Canada. The Company’s segments are U.S. Media and Other. The U.S. Media segment includes U.S. Billboard and Transit. The Other segment includes International and Sports Marketing. The Company’s inventory consists of billboard displays, which are primarily located on the heavily traveled highways and roadways in Nielsen Designated Market Areas (DMAs), and transit advertising displays operated under multi-year contracts with municipalities in cities across the United States and Canada. The Company also has marketing and multimedia rights agreements with colleges, universities and other educational institutions, which entitle the Company to operate on-campus advertising displays, as well as manage marketing opportunities, media rights and experiential entertainment at sports events.

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