Equity Lifestyle Properties (NYSE: ELS) and Education Realty Trust (NYSE:EDR) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, dividends, profitabiliy, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk and valuation.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Equity Lifestyle Properties and Education Realty Trust’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Equity Lifestyle Properties $897.06 million 8.48 $426.32 million $2.01 43.49
Education Realty Trust $301.56 million 9.53 $141.24 million $0.61 64.38

Equity Lifestyle Properties has higher revenue and earnings than Education Realty Trust. Equity Lifestyle Properties is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Education Realty Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Equity Lifestyle Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.95 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Education Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.52 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.9%. Equity Lifestyle Properties pays out 97.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Education Realty Trust pays out 249.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Equity Lifestyle Properties has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years and Education Realty Trust has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Equity Lifestyle Properties and Education Realty Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Equity Lifestyle Properties 1 2 1 0 2.00
Education Realty Trust 1 7 4 0 2.25

Equity Lifestyle Properties presently has a consensus price target of $78.25, suggesting a potential downside of 10.48%. Education Realty Trust has a consensus price target of $46.13, suggesting a potential upside of 17.46%. Given Education Realty Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Education Realty Trust is more favorable than Equity Lifestyle Properties.

Profitability

This table compares Equity Lifestyle Properties and Education Realty Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Equity Lifestyle Properties 22.00% 20.72% 5.66%
Education Realty Trust 14.74% 2.47% 1.75%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

96.3% of Equity Lifestyle Properties shares are held by institutional investors. 6.1% of Equity Lifestyle Properties shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of Education Realty Trust shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Equity Lifestyle Properties has a beta of 0.31, indicating that its share price is 69% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Education Realty Trust has a beta of 0.45, indicating that its share price is 55% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Equity Lifestyle Properties beats Education Realty Trust on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Equity Lifestyle Properties Company Profile

Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is an owner and operator of lifestyle-oriented properties (properties) consisting primarily of manufactured home (MH) communities and recreational vehicle (RV) resorts and campgrounds. The Company operates through two segments: Property Operations and Home Sales and Rentals Operations. The Property Operations segment owns and operates land lease properties and the Home Sales and Rentals Operations segment purchases, sells and leases homes at the properties. It leases individual developed areas (sites) with access to utilities for placement of factory built homes, cottages, cabins or RVs. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s property portfolio included 391 properties consisted of 146,610 residential sites. Its properties are designed for home options of various sizes and designs that are produced off-site by third-party manufacturers, installed and set on designated sites within the properties.

Education Realty Trust Company Profile

Education Realty Trust, Inc. (EdR) is a self-managed and self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust is engaged in developing, acquiring, owning and managing collegiate housing communities located near university campuses. The Trust operates through three segments: collegiate housing leasing, development consulting services and management services. The Trust develops collegiate housing communities for its own account and also provides third-party development consulting services on collegiate housing development projects for universities and other third parties. As of December 31, 2016, the Trust owned 64 collegiate housing communities located in 22 states containing 32,729 beds in 12,294 apartment units on or near 38 university campuses. As of December 31, 2016, the Trust provided third-party management services for 22 collegiate housing communities located in 11 states containing 11,767 beds in 4,214 apartment units on or near 17 university campuses.

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