QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS) and Farmland Partners (NYSE:FPI) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, valuation, analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership and dividends.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

39.8% of Farmland Partners shares are held by institutional investors. 17.3% of QTS Realty Trust shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.8% of Farmland Partners shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for QTS Realty Trust and Farmland Partners, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
QTS Realty Trust 0 4 9 0 2.69
Farmland Partners 0 3 1 0 2.25

QTS Realty Trust currently has a consensus price target of $56.92, suggesting a potential upside of 5.81%. Farmland Partners has a consensus price target of $10.13, suggesting a potential upside of 11.75%. Given Farmland Partners’ higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Farmland Partners is more favorable than QTS Realty Trust.

Profitability

This table compares QTS Realty Trust and Farmland Partners’ 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%
Farmland Partners 12.46% 1.66% 0.60%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares QTS Realty Trust and Farmland Partners’ 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 6.21 $158.07 million $0.40 134.48
Farmland Partners $38.89 million 7.68 $24.04 million $0.12 75.51

QTS Realty Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Farmland Partners. Farmland Partners 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.

Dividends

QTS Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Farmland Partners pays an annual dividend of $0.51 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.6%. 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. 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. QTS Realty Trust has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years and Farmland Partners has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Risk and Volatility

QTS Realty Trust has a beta of 0.47, meaning that its share price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Farmland Partners has a beta of 0.18, meaning that its share price is 82% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

QTS Realty Trust beats Farmland Partners on 10 of the 16 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 Farmland Partners

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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