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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

92.1% of American Tower Corporation (REIT) shares are held by institutional investors. 17.3% of QTS Realty Trust shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.9% of American Tower Corporation (REIT) shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for QTS Realty Trust and American Tower Corporation (REIT), as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
QTS Realty Trust 0 4 9 0 2.69
American Tower Corporation (REIT) 0 0 11 0 3.00

QTS Realty Trust currently has a consensus price target of $56.92, suggesting a potential upside of 3.52%. American Tower Corporation (REIT) has a consensus price target of $144.36, suggesting a potential downside of 0.43%. Given QTS Realty Trust’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe QTS Realty Trust is more favorable than American Tower Corporation (REIT).

Profitability

This table compares QTS Realty Trust and American Tower Corporation (REIT)’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
QTS Realty Trust 4.60% 2.04% 0.93%
American Tower Corporation (REIT) 18.58% 16.70% 3.74%

Dividends

QTS Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. American Tower Corporation (REIT) pays an annual dividend of $2.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.8%. QTS Realty Trust pays out 390.0% 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) 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. QTS Realty Trust has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years and American Tower Corporation (REIT) has raised its dividend for 5 consecutive years.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares QTS Realty Trust and American Tower Corporation (REIT)’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
QTS Realty Trust $422.74 million 6.35 $158.07 million $0.40 137.45
American Tower Corporation (REIT) $6.33 billion 9.83 $3.74 billion $2.49 58.23

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

Volatility & Risk

QTS Realty Trust has a beta of 0.47, suggesting that its share price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Tower Corporation (REIT) has a beta of 0.7, suggesting that its share price is 30% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

American Tower Corporation (REIT) beats QTS Realty Trust on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About QTS Realty Trust

QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (QTS) is a provider of secure, compliant data center solutions, hybrid cloud and fully managed services. The Company owns, develops and operates carrier-neutral and multi-tenant data centers. Its data centers are facilities that house the network and computer equipment of multiple customers and provide access to a range of communications carriers. The Company has an integrated platform through which it owns and operates its data centers and provides a range of information technology (IT) infrastructure solutions. Its spectrum of core data center products is referred to as 3Cs, which consists of Custom Data Center (C1), Colocation (C2), and Cloud and Managed Services (C3). Its 3C integrated technology platform provides information technology solutions for Web and information technology applications. Its data centers facilities are used by its customers to house, power and cool the networking equipment and computer systems that support their business processes.

About American Tower Corporation (REIT)

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.

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