United Dominion Realty Trust (NYSE: UDR) and Colony Capital (NYSE:CLNY) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability and earnings.

Dividends

United Dominion Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Colony Capital pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.4%. United Dominion Realty Trust pays out 112.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Colony Capital pays out 179.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. United Dominion Realty Trust has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years and Colony Capital has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations for United Dominion Realty Trust and Colony Capital, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
United Dominion Realty Trust 2 9 4 0 2.13
Colony Capital 0 1 2 0 2.67

United Dominion Realty Trust presently has a consensus target price of $39.10, indicating a potential upside of 2.81%. Colony Capital has a consensus target price of $27.50, indicating a potential upside of 27.79%. Given Colony Capital’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Colony Capital is more favorable than United Dominion Realty Trust.

Volatility & Risk

United Dominion Realty Trust has a beta of 0.4, meaning that its stock price is 60% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Colony Capital has a beta of 0.75, meaning that its stock price is 25% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

97.6% of United Dominion Realty Trust shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.1% of Colony Capital shares are held by institutional investors. 3.1% of United Dominion Realty Trust shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 17.7% of Colony Capital 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.

Profitability

This table compares United Dominion Realty Trust and Colony Capital’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
United Dominion Realty Trust 30.74% 10.40% 3.97%
Colony Capital 31.43% 3.16% 2.88%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares United Dominion Realty Trust and Colony Capital’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
United Dominion Realty Trust $979.22 million 10.39 $616.47 million $1.10 34.57
Colony Capital N/A N/A N/A $0.89 24.18

United Dominion Realty Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Colony Capital. Colony Capital is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than United Dominion Realty Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

United Dominion Realty Trust beats Colony Capital on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About United Dominion Realty Trust

UDR, Inc. is a self-administered real estate investment trust. The Company owns, operates, acquires, renovates, develops, redevelops, disposes of and manages multifamily apartment communities generally located in various markets across the United States. The Company’s segments are Same-Store Communities and Non-Mature Communities/Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s consolidated real estate portfolio included 127 communities located in 18 markets, with a total of 39,454 completed apartment homes. As of December 31, 2016, the Company also had an ownership interest in 27 communities containing 6,849 apartment homes through unconsolidated joint ventures or partnerships. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s properties were in various locations, such as Orange County, San Francisco and Los Angeles in California; Seattle, Washington; Richmond, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; Orlando and Tampa in Florida; Nashville, Tennessee, and Dallas and Austin in Texas.

About Colony Capital

Colony Capital, Inc., formerly Colony Financial, Inc., is a global real estate and investment management company. The Company operates through five segments: Real Estate Equity, including Light industrial real estate assets and operating platform; Single-family residential rentals through an investment in Colony Starwood Homes and Other real estate equity investments; Real Estate Debt, which includes loan originations and acquisitions, and Investment Management, which includes investment management of the Company-sponsored funds and other investment vehicles. Through its global investment management business, it has over $18.8 billion of assets under management. Its business objective is to provide risk-adjusted returns to its investors through a diversified portfolio of direct and indirect real estate-related equity and real estate debt investments, and fee bearing management contracts on investment funds that it manages.

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