NorthStar Asset Management Group (NYSE: CLNS) and Arbor Realty Trust (NYSE:ABR) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and profitabiliy.

Dividends

NorthStar Asset Management Group pays an annual dividend of $1.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.5%. Arbor Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.7%. NorthStar Asset Management Group pays out 900.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Arbor Realty Trust pays out 64.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. NorthStar Asset Management Group has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Arbor Realty Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares NorthStar Asset Management Group and Arbor Realty Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
NorthStar Asset Management Group 5.59% 5.09% 2.24%
Arbor Realty Trust 54.47% 10.85% 2.50%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares NorthStar Asset Management Group and Arbor Realty Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
NorthStar Asset Management Group $1.35 billion 5.91 $728.80 million $0.12 120.68
Arbor Realty Trust $214.05 million 2.00 $58.07 million $1.12 7.38

NorthStar Asset Management Group has higher revenue and earnings than Arbor Realty Trust. Arbor Realty Trust is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than NorthStar Asset Management Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

NorthStar Asset Management Group has a beta of 1.54, meaning that its stock price is 54% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Arbor Realty Trust has a beta of 0.69, meaning that its stock price is 31% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for NorthStar Asset Management Group and Arbor Realty Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
NorthStar Asset Management Group 0 2 3 0 2.60
Arbor Realty Trust 0 1 1 0 2.50

NorthStar Asset Management Group presently has a consensus price target of $17.06, indicating a potential upside of 17.83%. Arbor Realty Trust has a consensus price target of $8.88, indicating a potential upside of 7.45%. Given NorthStar Asset Management Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe NorthStar Asset Management Group is more favorable than Arbor Realty Trust.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

83.5% of NorthStar Asset Management Group shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 37.2% of Arbor Realty Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 8.0% of NorthStar Asset Management Group shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 16.5% of Arbor Realty Trust shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

NorthStar Asset Management Group beats Arbor Realty Trust on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

NorthStar Asset Management Group Company Profile

Colony NorthStar, Inc. is a diversified equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company combines a portfolio of real assets across the world, which are managed with a global real estate investment manager. The Company has property holdings in the healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors, opportunistic equity and debt investments, and an embedded institutional and retail investment management business. In addition, the Company owns NorthStar Securities, LLC, a captive broker-dealer platform which raises capital in the retail market. The Company acquires, develops and operates industrial properties in metropolitan markets throughout the United States with a focus on light industrial buildings. The Company provides investment management services and offers investment products while serving as a fiduciary to a set of institutional and individual investors.

Arbor Realty Trust Company Profile

Arbor Realty Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. The Company invests in a portfolio of structured finance assets in the multifamily and commercial real estate markets, primarily consisting of bridge and mezzanine loans, including junior participating interests in first mortgages, preferred and direct equity. Its segments include Structured Business and Agency Business. In addition, the Company may also directly acquire real property and invest in real estate-related notes and certain mortgage-related securities. It focuses on investment types, such as Bridge Financing, Mezzanine Financing, Junior Participation Financing and Preferred Equity Investments. It offers bridge financing products to borrowers, typically seeking short-term capital to use in an acquisition of property. It offers mezzanine financing in the form of loans that are subordinate to a conventional first mortgage loan and senior to the borrower’s equity in a transaction.

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