Equity Lifestyle Properties (NYSE: ELS) and United Dominion Realty Trust (NYSE:UDR) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their risk, dividends, earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Equity Lifestyle Properties and United Dominion Realty Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Equity Lifestyle Properties 1 4 0 0 1.80
United Dominion Realty Trust 2 9 4 0 2.13

Equity Lifestyle Properties presently has a consensus target price of $86.00, indicating a potential downside of 2.01%. United Dominion Realty Trust has a consensus target price of $39.10, indicating a potential upside of 1.40%. Given United Dominion Realty Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe United Dominion Realty Trust is more favorable than Equity Lifestyle Properties.

Risk & Volatility

Equity Lifestyle Properties has a beta of 0.32, suggesting that its share price is 68% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, United Dominion Realty Trust has a beta of 0.4, suggesting that its share price is 60% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

95.8% of Equity Lifestyle Properties shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.3% of United Dominion Realty Trust shares are held by institutional investors. 6.1% of Equity Lifestyle Properties shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.1% of United Dominion Realty Trust shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Equity Lifestyle Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.95 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. United Dominion Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.2%. Equity Lifestyle Properties pays out 93.3% 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 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. Equity Lifestyle Properties has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years and United Dominion Realty Trust has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Equity Lifestyle Properties and United Dominion Realty Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Equity Lifestyle Properties 22.52% 21.39% 5.89%
United Dominion Realty Trust 30.74% 10.40% 3.97%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Equity Lifestyle Properties and United Dominion Realty Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Equity Lifestyle Properties $912.71 million 8.41 $434.21 million $2.09 41.99
United Dominion Realty Trust $979.22 million 10.54 $616.47 million $1.10 35.05

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

Summary

United Dominion Realty Trust beats Equity Lifestyle Properties on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Equity Lifestyle Properties

Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is an owner and operator of lifestyle-oriented properties (properties) consisting primarily of manufactured home (MH) communities and recreational vehicle (RV) resorts and campgrounds. The Company operates through two segments: Property Operations and Home Sales and Rentals Operations. The Property Operations segment owns and operates land lease properties and the Home Sales and Rentals Operations segment purchases, sells and leases homes at the properties. It leases individual developed areas (sites) with access to utilities for placement of factory built homes, cottages, cabins or RVs. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s property portfolio included 391 properties consisted of 146,610 residential sites. Its properties are designed for home options of various sizes and designs that are produced off-site by third-party manufacturers, installed and set on designated sites within the properties.

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.

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