Essex Property Trust (NYSE: CXP) and Columbia Property Trust (NYSE:CXP) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, institutional ownership, valuation, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations and dividends.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Essex Property Trust 27.05% 5.52% 2.83%
Columbia Property Trust 34.95% 3.66% 2.25%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

96.2% of Essex Property Trust shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.9% of Columbia Property Trust shares are held by institutional investors. 3.3% of Essex Property Trust shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.6% of Columbia Property Trust shares are held by company 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.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Essex Property Trust and Columbia Property Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Essex Property Trust 0 9 12 0 2.57
Columbia Property Trust 1 2 2 0 2.20

Essex Property Trust presently has a consensus target price of $263.53, suggesting a potential upside of 6.99%. Columbia Property Trust has a consensus target price of $23.20, suggesting a potential downside of 0.68%. Given Essex Property Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Essex Property Trust is more favorable than Columbia Property Trust.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Essex Property Trust and Columbia Property Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Essex Property Trust $1.36 billion 11.93 $433.05 million $11.91 20.68
Columbia Property Trust $289.00 million 9.54 $176.04 million $1.14 20.49

Essex Property Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Columbia Property Trust. Columbia Property 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.

Dividends

Essex Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $7.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Columbia Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. Essex Property Trust pays out 62.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Columbia Property Trust pays out 70.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Essex Property Trust has increased its dividend for 24 consecutive years.

Risk and Volatility

Essex Property Trust has a beta of 0.3, meaning that its stock price is 70% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Columbia Property Trust has a beta of 1.03, meaning that its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Essex Property Trust beats Columbia Property Trust on 14 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Essex Property Trust Company Profile

Essex Property Trust, Inc., an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast markets. The Company currently has ownership interests in 247 apartment communities comprising approximately 60,000 apartment homes, excluding six properties in various stages of active development, one commercial building, preferred equity co-investments, and loan investments. Additional information about the Company can be found on the Company's website at www.essex.com.

Columbia Property Trust Company Profile

Columbia Property Trust (NYSE: CXP) owns and operates Class-A office buildings concentrated in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Its portfolio includes 19 properties with approximately nine million square feet. Columbia carries an investment-grade rating from both Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

Receive News & Ratings for Essex Property Trust Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Essex Property Trust and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.