Lamar Advertising Company (NASDAQ: LAMR) and Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust (NASDAQ:SWAY) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, institutional ownership, dividends, profitabiliy, valuation and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Lamar Advertising Company and Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lamar Advertising Company 19.18% 27.42% 7.40%
Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust N/A N/A N/A

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Lamar Advertising Company and Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lamar Advertising Company N/A N/A N/A $2.94 25.27
Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Institutional and Insider Ownership

85.8% of Lamar Advertising Company shares are held by institutional investors. 18.7% of Lamar Advertising Company shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Lamar Advertising Company pays an annual dividend of $3.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust does not pay a dividend. Lamar Advertising Company pays out 112.9% 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 summary of recent recommendations for Lamar Advertising Company and Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lamar Advertising Company 0 2 2 0 2.50
Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust 0 0 0 0 N/A

Lamar Advertising Company presently has a consensus target price of $75.75, suggesting a potential upside of 1.98%. Given Lamar Advertising Company’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Lamar Advertising Company is more favorable than Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust.

Summary

Lamar Advertising Company beats Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust on 8 of the 9 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lamar Advertising Company Company Profile

Lamar Advertising Company is an outdoor advertising company in the United States. The Company operates in the advertising segment. The Company sells advertising on billboards, buses, shelters, benches and logo plates. It operates three types of outdoor advertising displays: billboards, logo signs and transit advertising displays. As of December 31, 2012, the Company owned and operated over 144,000 billboard advertising displays in 44 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 115,000 logo advertising displays in 22 states and the province of Ontario, Canada, and operated over 34,000 transit advertising displays in 15 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. In August 2014, the Company acquired the assets of Marco Outdoor Advertising, Inc.

Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust Company Profile

Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) formed primarily to acquire, renovate, lease and manage residential assets in select markets throughout the United States. The Company’s objective is to generate risk-adjusted returns for its shareholders over the long-term through dividends and capital appreciation. The Company operates in two segments: SFRs (single-family residential) and NPLs (nonperforming loans). SFRs segment includes the business activities associated with its investments in single-family residential properties. SFRs segment provides a direct conduit to real estate. NPLs segment includes the business activities associated with its investments in NPLs. NPLs segment provides revenue opportunities through potential gains achieved through the resolution of the NPLs. As of December 31, 2014, the Company’s portfolio consisted of 16,825 owned homes and homes underlying NPLs, including 12,326 homes and 4,499 homes underlying 4,621 NPLs.

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