Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE: MAA) and Independence Realty Trust (NYSE:IRT) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, profitability, institutional ownership, risk and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Mid-America Apartment Communities pays an annual dividend of $3.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. Independence Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.9%. Mid-America Apartment Communities pays out 148.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Independence Realty Trust pays out -313.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Independence Realty Trust has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years. Independence Realty Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Mid-America Apartment Communities and Independence Realty Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Mid-America Apartment Communities 0 1 9 0 2.90
Independence Realty Trust 0 0 5 0 3.00

Mid-America Apartment Communities currently has a consensus price target of $109.90, indicating a potential upside of 1.27%. Independence Realty Trust has a consensus price target of $10.60, indicating a potential upside of 1.15%. Given Mid-America Apartment Communities’ higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Mid-America Apartment Communities is more favorable than Independence Realty Trust.

Profitability

This table compares Mid-America Apartment Communities and Independence Realty Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Mid-America Apartment Communities 15.80% 4.31% 2.38%
Independence Realty Trust -10.28% -3.22% -1.22%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Mid-America Apartment Communities and Independence Realty Trust’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Mid-America Apartment Communities $1.35 billion 9.13 $761.51 million $2.34 46.38
Independence Realty Trust N/A N/A N/A ($0.23) -45.56

Mid-America Apartment Communities has higher revenue and earnings than Independence Realty Trust. Independence Realty Trust is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Mid-America Apartment Communities, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk & Volatility

Mid-America Apartment Communities has a beta of 0.37, indicating that its stock price is 63% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Independence Realty Trust has a beta of 1.07, indicating that its stock price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

91.8% of Mid-America Apartment Communities shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 61.9% of Independence Realty Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of Mid-America Apartment Communities shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.6% of Independence Realty Trust shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Mid-America Apartment Communities beats Independence Realty Trust on 10 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Mid-America Apartment Communities Company Profile

Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. is a multifamily focused, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company owns, operates, acquires and develops apartment communities primarily located in the Southeast and Southwest regions of the United States. It operates through three segments: Large market same store, Secondary market same store and Non-Same Store and Other. Its Large market same store communities are communities in markets with a population of at least one million and at least 1% of the total public multifamily REIT units that it has owned. Its Secondary market same store communities are communities in markets with populations of more than one million but less than 1% of the total public multifamily REIT units or markets with populations of less than one million that it has owned. Its Non-same store communities and other includes recent acquisitions and communities in development or lease-up communities.

Independence Realty Trust Company Profile

Independence Realty Trust, Inc. is an internally-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is engaged in the business of owning, managing, operating, leasing, acquiring, developing, investing in, and disposing of real estate assets. The Company owns apartment properties in geographic non-gateway markets. As of September 26, 2017, the Company owns and operates 55 multifamily apartment properties, totaling 15,165 units. Its properties include Copper Mill, Crestmont, Heritage Trace, Runaway Bay, Berkshire Square, The Crossings, Reserve at Eagle Ridge, Windrush, Heritage Park, Raindance, Augusta, Invitational, Carrington Park, Walnut Hill, Lenoxplace, Bennington Pond, Jamestown, Meadows, Oxmoor, Bayview Club, Arbors River Oaks, Fox Trails, Bridge Pointe, The Aventine Greenville and Westmont Commons.

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