Easterly Government Properties (NYSE: DEA) and Alexandria Real Estate Equities (NYSE:ARE) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, profitability, dividends, earnings and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

96.3% of Easterly Government Properties shares are held by institutional investors. 18.1% of Easterly Government Properties shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.6% of Alexandria Real Estate Equities shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Volatility and Risk

Easterly Government Properties has a beta of 0.56, meaning that its stock price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Alexandria Real Estate Equities has a beta of 0.87, meaning that its stock price is 13% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Easterly Government Properties and Alexandria Real Estate Equities, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Easterly Government Properties 0 1 2 0 2.67
Alexandria Real Estate Equities 0 0 3 0 3.00

Easterly Government Properties currently has a consensus target price of $21.83, suggesting a potential upside of 9.22%. Alexandria Real Estate Equities has a consensus target price of $126.00, suggesting a potential upside of 4.55%. Given Easterly Government Properties’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Easterly Government Properties is more favorable than Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

Dividends

Easterly Government Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.0%. Alexandria Real Estate Equities pays an annual dividend of $3.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Easterly Government Properties pays out 1,000.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Alexandria Real Estate Equities pays out 860.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Easterly Government Properties has increased its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Easterly Government Properties is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares Easterly Government Properties and Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Easterly Government Properties 3.40% 0.58% 0.36%
Alexandria Real Estate Equities 9.45% 3.11% 1.49%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Easterly Government Properties and Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Easterly Government Properties $116.22 million 6.59 $60.40 million $0.10 199.92
Alexandria Real Estate Equities $1.02 billion 11.06 $639.55 million $0.40 301.31

Alexandria Real Estate Equities has higher revenue and earnings than Easterly Government Properties. Easterly Government Properties is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Alexandria Real Estate Equities, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Alexandria Real Estate Equities beats Easterly Government Properties on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Easterly Government Properties

Easterly Government Properties, Inc. is an internally managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company focuses on the acquisition, development and management of Class A commercial properties that are leased to the United States Government agencies. The Company leases its properties to such agencies through the United States General Services Administration (GSA). The operations of the Company are carried on primarily through Easterly Government Properties, LP and the subsidiaries of the Operating Partnership. As of December 31, 2016, it had 43 operating properties in the United States, including 40 operating properties that are leased primarily to the United States Government tenant agencies and three operating properties that are entirely leased to private tenants, encompassing approximately 3.1 million square feet in the aggregate. In addition, the Company had one property under development encompassing approximately 0.1 million square feet as of December 31, 2016.

About Alexandria Real Estate Equities

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. is a real estate investment (REIT). The Company is engaged in the business of providing space for lease to the life science and technology industries. It focuses on collaborative life science and technology campuses. It develops urban cluster campuses and ecosystems. As of December 31, 2016, the Company had 199 properties in North America. As of December 31, 2016, its asset base in North America consisted of 25.2 million square feet, including 19.9 million rentable square feet/foot (RSF) of operating properties, and development and redevelopment of under construction or pre-construction, as well as 5.3 million square feet of future ground-up development projects. Its properties are located in various areas, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland and Research Triangle Park. Its properties include Alexandria Technology Square, Alexandria Park at 128 and Alexandria Technology Center-Gateway.

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