Public Storage (NYSE: PSA) and National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) are both finance companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, valuation, dividends, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations and institutional ownership.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

78.5% of Public Storage shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.4% of National Storage Affiliates Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 14.4% of Public Storage shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 17.7% of National Storage Affiliates Trust shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Public Storage and National Storage Affiliates Trust’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Public Storage $2.70 billion 12.99 $1.93 billion $7.02 28.72
National Storage Affiliates Trust $234.98 million 4.14 $132.11 million $0.13 169.32

Public Storage has higher revenue and earnings than National Storage Affiliates Trust. Public Storage is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than National Storage Affiliates Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Public Storage pays an annual dividend of $8.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.0%. National Storage Affiliates Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.7%. Public Storage pays out 114.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. National Storage Affiliates Trust pays out 800.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Public Storage has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Risk and Volatility

Public Storage has a beta of 0.41, suggesting that its share price is 59% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Storage Affiliates Trust has a beta of 0.74, suggesting that its share price is 26% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Public Storage and National Storage Affiliates Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Public Storage 2 8 1 0 1.91
National Storage Affiliates Trust 0 1 2 0 2.67

Public Storage currently has a consensus target price of $221.64, suggesting a potential upside of 9.95%. National Storage Affiliates Trust has a consensus target price of $25.67, suggesting a potential upside of 16.61%. Given National Storage Affiliates Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe National Storage Affiliates Trust is more favorable than Public Storage.

Profitability

This table compares Public Storage and National Storage Affiliates Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Public Storage 53.35% 27.80% 13.85%
National Storage Affiliates Trust 4.75% 1.20% 0.61%

Summary

Public Storage beats National Storage Affiliates Trust on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Public Storage Company Profile

Public Storage is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s principal business activities include the ownership and operation of self-storage facilities, which offer storage spaces for lease, generally on a month-to-month basis, for personal and business use, ancillary activities, such as merchandise sales and tenant reinsurance to the tenants at its self-storage facilities, as well as the acquisition and development of additional self-storage space. The Company’s segments include Self-Storage Operations, Ancillary Operations, Investment in PS Business Parks, Inc. (PSB) and Investment in Shurgard Europe. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had direct and indirect equity interests in 2,348 self-storage facilities (with approximately 154 million net rentable square feet) located in 38 states in the United States operating under the Public Storage name.

National Storage Affiliates Trust Company Profile

National Storage Affiliates Trust is an integrated, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. The Company is focused on the ownership, operation and acquisition of self-storage properties located within various metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) across the United States. The Company’s operating partnership subsidiary is NSA OP, LP. As of December 31, 2016, the Company held ownership interests in and operated a geographically diversified portfolio of 448 self storage properties, located in 23 states, comprising approximately 27.6 million rentable square feet, configured in approximately 220,000 storage units. The Company’s self-storage properties are located in various states of the United States, such as California, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, Oregon, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Georgia.

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