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

Profitability

This table compares Excel Trust and W.P. Carey’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Excel Trust N/A N/A N/A
W.P. Carey 33.03% 7.73% 3.17%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Excel Trust and W.P. Carey’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Excel Trust N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
W.P. Carey $884.11 million 8.13 $715.85 million $2.48 27.20

W.P. Carey has higher revenue and earnings than Excel Trust.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

49.1% of W.P. Carey shares are held by institutional investors. 1.7% of W.P. Carey shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Excel Trust and W.P. Carey, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Excel Trust 0 0 0 0 N/A
W.P. Carey 2 2 1 0 1.80

W.P. Carey has a consensus target price of $65.50, indicating a potential downside of 2.91%. Given W.P. Carey’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe W.P. Carey is more favorable than Excel Trust.

Dividends

W.P. Carey pays an annual dividend of $3.98 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.9%. Excel Trust does not pay a dividend. W.P. Carey pays out 160.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Excel Trust has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years and W.P. Carey has increased its dividend for 16 consecutive years.

Summary

W.P. Carey beats Excel Trust on 10 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Excel Trust Company Profile

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.

W.P. Carey Company Profile

W. P. Carey provides long-term, sale-leaseback and build-to-suit transactions for companies worldwide, and manages a global investment portfolio. It has two primary business segments. Under the investment management segment, the Company earns revenue as the advisor to publicly owned, non-actively traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are sponsored by the Company under the Corporate Property Associates brand name (the CPA REITs) and invests in similar properties. Under the real estate ownership segment, the Company owns and invests in commercial properties in the United States and the European Union that are then leased to companies, primarily on a single-tenant, triple-net leased basis. As of December 31, 2009, it operated as advisor to Corporate Property Associates 14 Incorporated, Corporate Property Associates 15 Incorporated, Corporate Property Associates 16 – Global Incorporated and Corporate Property Associates 17 – Global Incorporated.

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