Essex Property Trust (NYSE: ESS) and BRT Realty Trust (NYSE:BRT) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Essex Property Trust and BRT Realty Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Essex Property Trust 38.95% 8.19% 4.20%
BRT Realty Trust 10.81% 5.07% 1.24%

Dividends

Essex Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $7.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. BRT Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.2%. Essex Property Trust pays out 87.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. BRT Realty Trust pays out 90.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. BRT Realty Trust has increased its dividend for 23 consecutive years. BRT Realty Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Essex Property Trust and BRT Realty Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Essex Property Trust 3 9 7 0 2.21
BRT Realty Trust 0 1 2 0 2.67

Essex Property Trust presently has a consensus target price of $265.29, suggesting a potential upside of 3.47%. BRT Realty Trust has a consensus target price of $11.13, suggesting a potential upside of 10.70%. Given BRT Realty Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe BRT Realty Trust is more favorable than Essex Property Trust.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

100.0% of Essex Property Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 21.8% of BRT Realty Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.3% of Essex Property Trust shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 41.9% of BRT Realty Trust shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Volatility and Risk

Essex Property Trust has a beta of 0.54, meaning that its stock price is 46% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, BRT Realty Trust has a beta of 0.19, meaning that its stock price is 81% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Essex Property Trust and BRT Realty Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Essex Property Trust $1.29 billion 13.08 $414.97 million $7.99 32.09
BRT Realty Trust $94.26 million 1.49 $31.28 million $0.80 12.56

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

Summary

Essex Property Trust beats BRT Realty Trust on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Essex Property Trust Company Profile

Essex Property Trust, Inc. is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged primarily in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of predominantly apartment communities, located along the West Coast. Its segments include Southern California, Northern California, Seattle Metro and Other real estate assets. The Company owns all of its interest in its real estate and other investments directly or indirectly through Essex Portfolio, L.P. (the Operating Partnership). Its properties include Mio, Form 15, Emerson Valley Village and Ashton Sherman Village. As of December 31, 2016, it owned or held an interest in 245 communities, aggregating 59,645 apartment homes, excluding its ownership in preferred equity investments, as well as two operating commercial buildings (totaling approximately 140,564 square feet), and six active development projects with 2,223 apartment homes in various stages of development.

BRT Realty Trust Company Profile

BRT Apartments Corp. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust is focused on the ownership, operation and development of multi-family properties. These activities are primarily conducted through joint ventures in which the Trust has an equity interest in the entity owning the property. The Trust’s segments include Multi-Family Real Estate and Other Assets. The Multi-Family Real Estate segment includes the ownership, operation and development of multi-family properties. The Other Assets segment includes the ownership and operation of the Trust’s other real estate assets and a real estate loan. As of December 31, 2016, the Trust owned 30 multi-family properties with 8,624 units located in 11 states (including 271 units at a property in the lease up stage), and interests in two unconsolidated joint ventures. The Trust also owns and operates various other real estate assets.

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