Gramercy Property Trust (NYSE: GPT) and Highwoods Properties (NYSE:HIW) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, valuation, risk and dividends.

Profitability

This table compares Gramercy Property Trust and Highwoods Properties’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Gramercy Property Trust 4.35% 0.81% 0.40%
Highwoods Properties 18.79% 5.96% 2.82%

Volatility and Risk

Gramercy Property Trust has a beta of 0.58, meaning that its stock price is 42% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Highwoods Properties has a beta of 0.89, meaning that its stock price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Gramercy Property Trust and Highwoods Properties’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Gramercy Property Trust $525.64 million 8.96 $368.69 million $0.09 344.37
Highwoods Properties $683.61 million 7.96 $366.80 million $1.24 42.50

Gramercy Property Trust has higher revenue, but lower earnings than Highwoods Properties. Highwoods Properties is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Gramercy Property Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Gramercy Property Trust and Highwoods Properties, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Gramercy Property Trust 1 1 3 0 2.40
Highwoods Properties 0 2 3 0 2.60

Gramercy Property Trust currently has a consensus target price of $31.67, indicating a potential upside of 2.18%. Highwoods Properties has a consensus target price of $55.50, indicating a potential upside of 5.31%. Given Highwoods Properties’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Highwoods Properties is more favorable than Gramercy Property Trust.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

87.1% of Gramercy Property Trust shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.1% of Highwoods Properties shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Gramercy Property Trust shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 1.9% of Highwoods Properties shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Gramercy Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.8%. Highwoods Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Gramercy Property Trust pays out 1,666.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Highwoods Properties pays out 141.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Gramercy Property Trust has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years. Gramercy Property Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

Highwoods Properties beats Gramercy Property Trust on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Gramercy Property Trust Company Profile

Gramercy Property Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT), which is an investor and asset manager of commercial real estate. The Company’s operating segments include Investments/Corporate and Asset Management. The Investments/Corporate segment includes all of its activities related to the investment and ownership of commercial properties located throughout the United States and Europe. The Asset Management segment includes substantially all of its activities related to asset and property management of commercial properties located throughout the United States and Europe. It is engaged in acquiring and managing single-tenant, net leased industrial, office and specialty properties. It focuses on income producing properties leased to tenants in markets in the United States and Europe. It earns revenues through rental revenues on properties that it owns in the United States and asset management revenues on properties owned by third parties in the United States and Europe.

Highwoods Properties Company Profile

Highwoods Properties, Inc. is an office real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s primary business is the operation, acquisition and development of office properties. The Company’s segments include Office and Other. The Company owns, develops, acquires, leases and manages properties primarily in the best business districts (BBDs) of Atlanta, Greensboro, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond and Tampa. The Company conducts its activities through Highwoods Realty Limited Partnership (the Operating Partnership). The Company offers a range of real estate services to its customers. The Company offers services, including asset management, construction management, design and space planning, and renovation and re-positioning. The Company provides its customers with services, such as build-to-suit construction and space modification, including tenant improvements and expansions.

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