St. Joe Company (The) (NYSE: JOE) and Comstock Holding Companies (NASDAQ:CHCI) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, earnings, valuation, institutional ownership, risk, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares St. Joe Company (The) and Comstock Holding Companies’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
St. Joe Company (The) $95.70 million 13.06 $15.89 million $0.33 57.12
Comstock Holding Companies $41.58 million 0.15 -$8.99 million ($1.58) -1.16

St. Joe Company (The) has higher revenue and earnings than Comstock Holding Companies. Comstock Holding Companies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than St. Joe Company (The), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

St. Joe Company (The) has a beta of 0.88, meaning that its stock price is 12% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Comstock Holding Companies has a beta of -0.34, meaning that its stock price is 134% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

10.0% of Comstock Holding Companies shares are held by institutional investors. 33.8% of St. Joe Company (The) shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 46.4% of Comstock Holding Companies shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for St. Joe Company (The) and Comstock Holding Companies, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
St. Joe Company (The) 0 0 0 0 N/A
Comstock Holding Companies 0 0 0 0 N/A

Profitability

This table compares St. Joe Company (The) and Comstock Holding Companies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
St. Joe Company (The) 24.82% 3.71% 2.39%
Comstock Holding Companies -14.02% -94.21% -7.85%

Summary

St. Joe Company (The) beats Comstock Holding Companies on 8 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About St. Joe Company (The)

The St. Joe Company is a real estate development, asset management and operating company. The Company operates through five segments: residential real estate; commercial real estate; resorts and leisure; leasing operations, and forestry. Its residential real estate segment plans and develops primary residential and resort residential communities of various sizes on its existing land. Its commercial real estate segment plans, develops, manages and sells real estate. Resorts and leisure segment features a portfolio of vacation rentals and hotel operations, as well as golf courses, a beach club, marinas and other related resort amenities. Its leasing operations business includes its retail and commercial leasing. Its forestry segment focuses on the management of its timber holdings in Northwest Florida.

About Comstock Holding Companies

Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. (Comstock ), formerly Comstock Homebuilding Companies, Inc. is a diversified real estate development and services company focused on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Company builds a range of products including apartments, single-family homes, townhouses, mid-rise condominiums, high-rise multi-family condominiums and mixed-use (residential and commercial) developments. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had built and delivered more than 5,300 homes. The Company has built homes and apartment buildings in suburban communities, where it focuses on low density products. The Company’s apartment buildings are developed as rental properties to be held and operated for its own purposes, converted at some point to for-sale condominium units or sold on a merchant build basis. In March 7, 2012, Cascades II completed the sale of its Potomac Square Apartment project to an affiliate of CAPREIT Acquisition Corporation.

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