American Tower Corporation (REIT) (NYSE: AMT) and Farmland Partners (NYSE:FPI) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, dividends, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation and institutional ownership.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares American Tower Corporation (REIT) and Farmland Partners’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Tower Corporation (REIT) $6.33 billion 9.47 $3.74 billion $2.49 56.10
Farmland Partners $38.89 million 7.23 $24.04 million $0.12 72.01

American Tower Corporation (REIT) has higher revenue and earnings than Farmland Partners. American Tower Corporation (REIT) is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Farmland Partners, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

American Tower Corporation (REIT) pays an annual dividend of $2.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. Farmland Partners pays an annual dividend of $0.51 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.9%. American Tower Corporation (REIT) pays out 102.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Farmland Partners pays out 425.0% 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 Tower Corporation (REIT) has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years and Farmland Partners has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years. Farmland Partners is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Volatility and Risk

American Tower Corporation (REIT) has a beta of 0.71, meaning that its stock price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Farmland Partners has a beta of 0.18, meaning that its stock price is 82% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for American Tower Corporation (REIT) and Farmland Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Tower Corporation (REIT) 0 0 11 0 3.00
Farmland Partners 0 3 1 0 2.25

American Tower Corporation (REIT) currently has a consensus price target of $141.82, suggesting a potential upside of 1.52%. Farmland Partners has a consensus price target of $10.13, suggesting a potential upside of 17.19%. Given Farmland Partners’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Farmland Partners is more favorable than American Tower Corporation (REIT).

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.4% of American Tower Corporation (REIT) shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 39.1% of Farmland Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.9% of American Tower Corporation (REIT) shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 2.8% of Farmland Partners shares are owned by 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.

Profitability

This table compares American Tower Corporation (REIT) and Farmland Partners’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Tower Corporation (REIT) 18.58% 16.70% 3.74%
Farmland Partners 12.46% 1.66% 0.60%

Summary

American Tower Corporation (REIT) beats Farmland Partners on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

American Tower Corporation (REIT) Company Profile

American Tower Corporation (ATC) is a holding company. The Company operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT), which owns, operates and develops multitenant communications real estate. ATC’s segments include U.S. property, Asia property, EMEA property, Latin America property, Services and Other. Its primary business is property operations, which include the leasing of space on communications sites to wireless service providers, radio and television broadcast companies, wireless data providers, government agencies and municipalities, and tenants in various other industries. Its U.S. property segment includes operations in the United States. Its Asia property segment includes operations in India. The EMEA property segment includes operations in Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. The Latin America property segment includes operations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru. Its services segment offers tower-related services in the United States.

Farmland Partners Company Profile

Farmland Partners, Inc. is an internally managed real estate company. The Company owns and seeks to acquire farmland located in agricultural markets throughout North America. The Company is the sole member of the general partner of Farmland Partners Operating Partnership, LP (the Operating Partnership). All of the Company’s assets are held by, and its operations are primarily conducted through, the Operating Partnership and the subsidiaries of the Operating Partnership. The Company’s principal investment focus is on farmland located in agricultural markets throughout North America, however, it may seek to acquire farmland outside of North America. It also may acquire properties related to farming, such as grain storage facilities, grain elevators, feedlots, cold storage facilities, processing plants and distribution centers, as well as livestock farms or ranches. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned approximately 115,489 acres, as well as eight grain storage facilities.

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