BRT Apartments Corp (NYSE: BRT) and Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) are both large-cap residential reits companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation and profitability.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares BRT Apartments Corp and Essex Property Trust’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
BRT Apartments Corp $94.26 million 1.49 $31.28 million $0.80 12.50
Essex Property Trust $1.29 billion 12.95 $414.97 million $7.98 31.83

Essex Property Trust has higher revenue and earnings than BRT Apartments Corp. BRT Apartments Corp is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Essex Property Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

BRT Apartments Corp has a beta of 0.19, indicating that its share price is 81% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Essex Property Trust has a beta of 0.54, indicating that its share price is 46% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

21.8% of BRT Apartments Corp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 99.6% of Essex Property Trust shares are held by institutional investors. 41.9% of BRT Apartments Corp shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.3% of Essex Property Trust shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares BRT Apartments Corp and Essex Property Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
BRT Apartments Corp 10.81% 5.07% 1.24%
Essex Property Trust 38.95% 8.19% 4.20%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for BRT Apartments Corp and Essex Property Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
BRT Apartments Corp 0 1 1 0 2.50
Essex Property Trust 2 9 7 0 2.28

BRT Apartments Corp currently has a consensus target price of $11.13, indicating a potential upside of 11.25%. Essex Property Trust has a consensus target price of $267.71, indicating a potential upside of 5.41%. Given BRT Apartments Corp’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe BRT Apartments Corp is more favorable than Essex Property Trust.

Dividends

BRT Apartments Corp pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.2%. Essex Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $7.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. BRT Apartments Corp pays out 90.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Essex Property Trust pays out 87.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Essex Property Trust has increased its dividend for 23 consecutive years.

Summary

Essex Property Trust beats BRT Apartments Corp on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

BRT Apartments Corp Company Profile

BRT Apartments Corp. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust is focused on the ownership, operation and development of multi-family properties. These activities are primarily conducted through joint ventures in which the Trust has an equity interest in the entity owning the property. The Trust’s segments include Multi-Family Real Estate and Other Assets. The Multi-Family Real Estate segment includes the ownership, operation and development of multi-family properties. The Other Assets segment includes the ownership and operation of the Trust’s other real estate assets and a real estate loan. As of December 31, 2016, the Trust owned 30 multi-family properties with 8,624 units located in 11 states (including 271 units at a property in the lease up stage), and interests in two unconsolidated joint ventures. The Trust also owns and operates various other real estate assets.

Essex Property Trust Company Profile

Essex Property Trust, Inc. is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged primarily in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of predominantly apartment communities, located along the West Coast. Its segments include Southern California, Northern California, Seattle Metro and Other real estate assets. The Company owns all of its interest in its real estate and other investments directly or indirectly through Essex Portfolio, L.P. (the Operating Partnership). Its properties include Mio, Form 15, Emerson Valley Village and Ashton Sherman Village. As of December 31, 2016, it owned or held an interest in 245 communities, aggregating 59,645 apartment homes, excluding its ownership in preferred equity investments, as well as two operating commercial buildings (totaling approximately 140,564 square feet), and six active development projects with 2,223 apartment homes in various stages of development.

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