Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LPT) and Excel Trust (NYSE:EXL) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, earnings and valuation.

Volatility and Risk

Liberty Property Trust has a beta of 0.88, meaning that its stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Excel Trust has a beta of 0.49, meaning that its stock price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Liberty Property Trust and Excel Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Liberty Property Trust 0 4 3 0 2.43
Excel Trust 0 0 0 0 N/A

Liberty Property Trust presently has a consensus price target of $43.40, indicating a potential downside of 1.85%. Given Liberty Property Trust’s higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Liberty Property Trust is more favorable than Excel Trust.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

91.5% of Liberty Property Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of Liberty Property Trust shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Liberty Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. Excel Trust does not pay a dividend. Liberty Property Trust pays out 67.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Liberty Property Trust has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years and Excel Trust has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Liberty Property Trust and Excel Trust’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Liberty Property Trust $746.71 million 8.73 $356.81 million $2.37 18.66
Excel Trust N/A N/A N/A $0.26 60.92

Liberty Property Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Excel Trust. Liberty Property Trust is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Excel Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Liberty Property Trust and Excel Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Liberty Property Trust 47.78% 11.41% 5.69%
Excel Trust 9.45% 0.65% 0.88%

Summary

Liberty Property Trust beats Excel Trust on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Liberty Property Trust

Liberty Property Trust (the Trust) is a self-administered and self-managed Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust’s assets are owned directly or indirectly, and substantially all of the Trust’s operations are conducted directly or indirectly, by its subsidiary, Liberty Property Limited Partnership (the Operating Partnership). The Company’s segments include Carolinas/Richmond; Chicago/Milwaukee; Florida; Houston; Lehigh/Central PA; Minnesota; Philadelphia; Southeastern PA; United Kingdom, and Other, which includes Arizona; Atlanta; Cincinnati/Columbus/Indianapolis; Dallas; DC Metro; New Jersey; Southern California, and other. The Company owns and operates industrial properties nationally and owns and operates office properties in a focused group of office markets. Additionally, the Company owns certain assets in the United Kingdom. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and operated 450 industrial and 55 office properties totaling 86.0 million square feet.

About Excel Trust

Excel Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is a vertically integrated, self-administered, self-managed real estate firm with the principal objective of acquiring, financing, developing, leasing, owning and managing community and power centers, grocery anchored neighborhood centers and freestanding retail properties. It operates through three segments: retail properties, multi-family properties and office properties. It owns approximately 38 consolidated retail operating properties with a total of approximately 7.2 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA). The multi-family segment consists of apartment units at one retail property, West Broad Village, which is located in Richmond, Virginia. The office segment consists of two properties, Excel Centre, a portion of which is utilized as its headquarters, and the Promenade Corporate Center. These office properties total approximately 338,339 square feet of GLA.

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