Equity Lifestyle Properties (NYSE: ELS) and American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE:AMH) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, profitability and dividends.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Equity Lifestyle Properties and American Homes 4 Rent’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 8.36 $426.41 million $2.01 42.86
American Homes 4 Rent $934.38 million 6.11 $473.25 million ($0.11) -200.55

American Homes 4 Rent has higher revenue and earnings than Equity Lifestyle Properties. American Homes 4 Rent is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Equity Lifestyle Properties, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Equity Lifestyle Properties has a beta of 0.31, suggesting that its stock price is 69% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Homes 4 Rent has a beta of 0.7, suggesting that its stock price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

96.6% of Equity Lifestyle Properties shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.8% of American Homes 4 Rent shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.1% of Equity Lifestyle Properties shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 27.8% of American Homes 4 Rent shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Equity Lifestyle Properties and American Homes 4 Rent’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Equity Lifestyle Properties 22.00% 20.64% 5.66%
American Homes 4 Rent 6.36% -0.02% 0.73%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Equity Lifestyle Properties and American Homes 4 Rent, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Equity Lifestyle Properties 1 1 1 0 2.00
American Homes 4 Rent 0 5 4 0 2.44

Equity Lifestyle Properties presently has a consensus target price of $78.67, indicating a potential downside of 8.69%. American Homes 4 Rent has a consensus target price of $24.29, indicating a potential upside of 10.09%. Given American Homes 4 Rent’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe American Homes 4 Rent is more favorable than Equity Lifestyle Properties.

Dividends

Equity Lifestyle Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.95 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. American Homes 4 Rent pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. 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. American Homes 4 Rent pays out -181.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Equity Lifestyle Properties has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Equity Lifestyle Properties is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

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.

American Homes 4 Rent Company Profile

American Homes 4 Rent is an internally managed real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on acquiring, renovating, leasing and operating single-family homes as rental properties. The Company’s primary objective is to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for its shareholders through dividends and capital appreciation by acquiring, renovating, leasing and operating single-family homes as rental properties. As of December 31, 2016, it owned 48,422 single-family properties in 22 states, including 1,119 properties held for sale, and had an additional 47 properties in escrow that it intended to acquire. Its integrated operating platform offers property management, acquisitions, construction, marketing, leasing, financial and administrative functions. The Company may seek to invest in condominium units, townhouses and real estate-related debt investments. The Company is externally managed and advised by American Homes 4 Rent Advisor, LLC (the Advisor).

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