Investors Real Estate Trust (NYSE: IRET) and Safety Income & Growth (NYSE:SAFE) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, valuation and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Investors Real Estate Trust and Safety Income & Growth’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Investors Real Estate Trust 25.72% 0.11% 0.03%
Safety Income & Growth N/A N/A N/A

Dividends

Investors Real Estate Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.28 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.8%. Safety Income & Growth does not pay a dividend. Investors Real Estate Trust pays out 80.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Investors Real Estate Trust and Safety Income & Growth, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Investors Real Estate Trust 0 2 0 0 2.00
Safety Income & Growth 0 5 1 0 2.17

Investors Real Estate Trust currently has a consensus target price of $6.75, indicating a potential upside of 15.19%. Safety Income & Growth has a consensus target price of $20.58, indicating a potential upside of 16.40%. Given Safety Income & Growth’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Safety Income & Growth is more favorable than Investors Real Estate Trust.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Investors Real Estate Trust and Safety Income & Growth’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Investors Real Estate Trust $205.74 million 3.43 $43.34 million $0.35 16.74
Safety Income & Growth $21.74 million 14.79 $6.61 million N/A N/A

Investors Real Estate Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Safety Income & Growth.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

53.4% of Investors Real Estate Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 40.3% of Safety Income & Growth shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Investors Real Estate Trust shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Investors Real Estate Trust beats Safety Income & Growth on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Investors Real Estate Trust Company Profile

Investors Real Estate Trust is a self-advised equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s business consists of owning and operating income-producing real estate properties. Its segments include Multifamily, Healthcare and All Other. Its investments consist of multifamily and healthcare properties located primarily in the upper Midwest states of Minnesota and North Dakota. It conducts its business operations through its operating partnership, IRET Properties, which is principally engaged in acquiring, owning, operating and leasing real estate. It invests in multifamily properties and commercial properties that are leased to single or multiple tenants, usually for approximately five years or longer. As of May 26, 2017, the Company held for investment 86 multifamily properties containing 12,813 apartment units and 44 commercial properties, consisting of healthcare, industrial, office and retail, containing approximately 2.7 million square feet of leasable space.

Safety Income & Growth Company Profile

Safety, Income and Growth, Inc. is formed primarily to acquire, own, manage, finance and capitalize ground net leases (GNLs). The Company’s portfolio consists of 12 properties, which includes Doubletree Seattle Airport, One Ally Center, Hilton Salt Lake, Doubletree Mission Valley, Doubletree Sonoma, Doubletree Durango, Dallas Market Center: Sheraton Suites, Northside Forsyth Hospital Medical Center, NASA/JPSS Headquarters, The Buckler Apartments, Dallas Market Center: Marriott Courtyard and Lock Up Self Storage Facility.

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