Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (NASDAQ: WHLR) and Getty Realty Corporation (NYSE:GTY) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, profitabiliy, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust and Getty Realty Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust 0 1 3 0 2.75
Getty Realty Corporation 1 0 0 0 1.00

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust presently has a consensus target price of $16.00, suggesting a potential upside of 49.25%. Getty Realty Corporation has a consensus target price of $20.00, suggesting a potential downside of 14.20%. Given Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust is more favorable than Getty Realty Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust and Getty Realty Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust -18.43% -16.61% -2.63%
Getty Realty Corporation 35.30% 10.21% 4.96%

Dividends

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 15.7%. Getty Realty Corporation pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.8%. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust pays out -90.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Getty Realty Corporation pays out 94.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Getty Realty Corporation has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Volatility and Risk

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust has a beta of 1.14, indicating that its share price is 14% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Getty Realty Corporation has a beta of 0.53, indicating that its share price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust and Getty Realty Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust $49.34 million 1.87 $28.15 million ($1.86) -5.76
Getty Realty Corporation $114.49 million 7.89 $78.51 million $1.18 19.75

Getty Realty Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Getty Realty Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

53.2% of Getty Realty Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 4.5% of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 22.3% of Getty Realty Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Getty Realty Corporation beats Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. is a self-managed commercial real estate investment company. The Company focuses on acquiring and managing retail properties with a primary focus on grocery-anchored centers. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned a portfolio consisting of 74 properties, including 59 retail shopping centers and five freestanding retail properties totaling 4,906,511 gross leasable square feet of which approximately 94% were leased, one office property, eight undeveloped land parcels totaling approximately 70 acres and one redevelopment project. Its properties are located in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Its properties include Alex City Marketplace, Berkley Shopping Center, Clover Plaza, Darien Shopping Center, Cypress Shopping Center, Harrodsburg Marketplace, LaGrange Marketplace, Riverbridge Shopping Center and Village of Martinsville.

About Getty Realty Corporation

Getty Realty Corp. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company specializes in the ownership, leasing and financing of convenience store and gasoline station properties. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s 829 properties were located in 23 states across the United States and Washington, District of Columbia. Its properties are operated under a range of brands, including 76, Aloha, BP, Citgo, Conoco, Exxon, Getty, Mobil, RaceTrac, Shell and Valero. The Company owns the Getty name in connection with its real estate and the petroleum marketing business in the United States. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had owned 740 properties and leased 89 properties from third-party landlords. Its typical property is used as a convenience store and gasoline station. Its properties are concentrated in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. As of December 31, 2016, it had leased 808 of its properties to tenants under triple-net leases.

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