Ventas (NYSE: VTR) and Geo Group Inc (The) (NYSE:GEO) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, dividends, profitabiliy, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and earnings.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Ventas and Geo Group Inc (The), as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ventas 3 10 0 0 1.77
Geo Group Inc (The) 0 2 2 0 2.50

Ventas presently has a consensus target price of $64.13, suggesting a potential downside of 5.15%. Geo Group Inc (The) has a consensus target price of $29.22, suggesting a potential upside of 1.04%. Given Geo Group Inc (The)’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Geo Group Inc (The) is more favorable than Ventas.

Profitability

This table compares Ventas and Geo Group Inc (The)’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ventas 20.10% 6.34% 2.83%
Geo Group Inc (The) 7.06% 15.32% 4.17%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Ventas and Geo Group Inc (The)’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ventas $3.48 billion 6.89 $1.85 billion $1.97 34.32
Geo Group Inc (The) $2.22 billion 1.59 $388.80 million $1.39 20.81

Ventas has higher revenue and earnings than Geo Group Inc (The). Geo Group Inc (The) is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ventas, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Ventas pays an annual dividend of $3.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.6%. Geo Group Inc (The) pays an annual dividend of $1.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.5%. Ventas pays out 157.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Geo Group Inc (The) pays out 135.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Ventas has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years and Geo Group Inc (The) has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Geo Group Inc (The) is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

91.3% of Ventas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 62.8% of Geo Group Inc (The) shares are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of Ventas shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of Geo Group Inc (The) shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility & Risk

Ventas has a beta of 0.08, suggesting that its stock price is 92% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Geo Group Inc (The) has a beta of 1.55, suggesting that its stock price is 55% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Geo Group Inc (The) beats Ventas on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ventas Company Profile

Ventas, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT) with its properties located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: triple-net leased properties, senior living operations and office operations. Under its triple-net leased properties segment, the Company invests in and owns seniors housing and healthcare properties throughout the United States and the United Kingdom and leases those properties to healthcare operating companies under triple-net or absolute-net leases that obligate the tenants to pay all property-related expenses. In its senior living operations segment, it invests in seniors housing communities throughout the United States and Canada and engages independent operators to manage those communities. In its office operations segment, the Company primarily acquires, owns, develops, leases and manages medical office buildings (MOBs) and life science and innovation centers throughout the United States.

Geo Group Inc (The) Company Profile

The GEO Group, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in the ownership, leasing and management of correctional, detention and re-entry facilities and the provision of community-based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada. As of December 31, 2013, its worldwide operations included the management and/or ownership of approximately 77,000 beds at 98 correctional, detention and community based facilities, including idle faclities and projects under development, and also included the provision of monitoring of more than 70,000 offenders in a community-based environment on behalf of approximately 900 federal, state and local correctional agencies located in all 50 states. The Company operates in four segments: United States Corrections and Detention segment, segment; International Services segment and Facility Construction and Design segment.

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