Leju Holdings Limited (NYSE: LEJU) and HFF (NYSE:HF) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitabiliy, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership and dividends.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

4.8% of Leju Holdings Limited shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.1% of HFF shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.7% of HFF shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations and price targets for Leju Holdings Limited and HFF, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Leju Holdings Limited 1 0 0 0 1.00
HFF 1 2 1 0 2.00

Leju Holdings Limited currently has a consensus target price of $2.10, indicating a potential upside of 25.75%. HFF has a consensus target price of $28.00, indicating a potential downside of 19.93%. Given Leju Holdings Limited’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Leju Holdings Limited is more favorable than HFF.

Volatility and Risk

Leju Holdings Limited has a beta of 3.08, suggesting that its stock price is 208% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, HFF has a beta of 1.2, suggesting that its stock price is 20% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Leju Holdings Limited and HFF’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Leju Holdings Limited $514.83 million 0.44 -$36.21 million ($0.20) -8.35
HFF $523.52 million 2.58 $81.77 million $2.12 16.50

HFF has higher revenue and earnings than Leju Holdings Limited. Leju Holdings Limited is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than HFF, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Leju Holdings Limited and HFF’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Leju Holdings Limited -5.24% -5.42% -3.82%
HFF 15.40% 40.35% 9.10%

Summary

HFF beats Leju Holdings Limited on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Leju Holdings Limited Company Profile

Leju Holdings Limited is an online to offline (O2O), real estate services provider in China. The Company offers real estate e-commerce, online advertising and online listing services through its online platform, which consists of local Websites covering over 260 cities and various mobile applications. The Company integrates its online platform with offline services to facilitate residential property transactions. In addition to its own Websites, the Company operates various real estate and home furnishing Websites of SINA Corporation (SINA). Its O2O services for new residential properties include selling discount coupons and facilitating online property viewing, physical property visits, marketing events and pre-sale customer support. It sells advertising primarily on the SINA new residential properties and home furnishing Websites, which are operated by the Company.

HFF Company Profile

HFF, Inc. is a holding company. The Company holds the partnership interests in Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. and HFF Securities L.P. (together, the Operating Partnerships), held through the subsidiary HFF Partnership Holdings, LLC, and all of the outstanding shares of Holliday GP Corp. (Holliday GP). The Company operates through the commercial real estate financial intermediary segment. It offers debt placement, investment sales, distressed debt and real estate owned advisory services, equity placement, investment banking and advisory services, loan sales and commercial loan servicing. Its fully-integrated national capital markets platform, coupled with its knowledge of the commercial real estate markets provides an range of capital markets services, including Debt placement; Investment sales; Distressed debt and real estate owned advisory services; Equity placement; Investment banking and advisory services; Loan sales; and Commercial loan servicing.

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