Crown Castle International Corporation (NYSE: CCI) and SBA Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:SBAC) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Crown Castle International Corporation and SBA Communications Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Crown Castle International Corporation 0 4 8 0 2.67
SBA Communications Corporation 0 4 11 0 2.73

Crown Castle International Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $105.75, suggesting a potential downside of 0.69%. SBA Communications Corporation has a consensus price target of $143.38, suggesting a potential downside of 4.06%. Given Crown Castle International Corporation’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Crown Castle International Corporation is more favorable than SBA Communications Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares Crown Castle International Corporation and SBA Communications Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Crown Castle International Corporation 11.14% 6.21% 1.95%
SBA Communications Corporation 2.19% -2.64% 0.67%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Crown Castle International Corporation and SBA Communications Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Crown Castle International Corporation $4.08 billion 10.60 $2.17 billion $1.25 85.19
SBA Communications Corporation $1.68 billion 10.71 $1.10 billion $0.31 482.11

Crown Castle International Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than SBA Communications Corporation. Crown Castle International Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than SBA Communications Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Crown Castle International Corporation pays an annual dividend of $3.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. SBA Communications Corporation does not pay a dividend. Crown Castle International Corporation pays out 304.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. SBA Communications Corporation has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

83.0% of Crown Castle International Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.4% of SBA Communications Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of Crown Castle International Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.1% of SBA Communications Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Crown Castle International Corporation has a beta of 0.18, meaning that its share price is 82% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, SBA Communications Corporation has a beta of 0.71, meaning that its share price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

SBA Communications Corporation beats Crown Castle International Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Crown Castle International Corporation Company Profile

Castle International Corp. (CCIC) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) company. The Company owns, operates and leases shared wireless infrastructure, including towers and other structures, such as rooftops (towers), and to a lesser extent, distributed antenna systems (DAS), a type of small cell network (small cells), and interests in land under third party towers in various forms (third party land interests). Its core business is renting space or physical capacity (collectively, space) on its towers, DAS and, to a lesser extent, third party land interests (collectively, site rental business) through long-term contracts in various forms, including license, sublease and lease agreements (collectively, contracts). The Company owned, leased or managed approximately 39,600 towers in the United States, including Puerto Rico, and approximately 1,700 towers in Australia.

SBA Communications Corporation Company Profile

SBA Communications Corporation is an independent owner and operator of wireless communications tower structures, rooftops and other structures that support antennas used for wireless communications. The Company’s operating segments include site leasing and site development. The site leasing business includes segments, domestic site leasing and international site leasing. The Company’s primary business line is its site leasing business. In its site leasing business, the Company leases antenna space to wireless service providers on towers that it owns or operates, and manages rooftop and tower sites for property owners under various contractual arrangements. The Company owns approximately 25,460 towers. It also manages or leases approximately 5,500 actual or potential towers. The Company’s other business line is its site development business, through which it assists wireless service providers in developing and maintaining their own wireless service networks.

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