Head-To-Head Comparison: Cousins Properties (CUZ) vs. Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT)

Cousins Properties (NYSE: CUZ) and Empire State Realty Trust (NYSE:ESRT) are both mid-cap financials companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability, earnings and risk.

Risk & Volatility

Cousins Properties has a beta of 1.23, meaning that its share price is 23% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Empire State Realty Trust has a beta of 0.98, meaning that its share price is 2% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Cousins Properties pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Empire State Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.42 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.1%. Cousins Properties pays out 41.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Empire State Realty Trust pays out 105.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Cousins Properties has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Cousins Properties is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Cousins Properties and Empire State Realty Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cousins Properties $259.21 million 15.22 $79.10 million $0.58 16.19
Empire State Realty Trust $678.00 million 4.79 $52.39 million $0.40 51.20

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

Institutional & Insider Ownership

82.5% of Empire State Realty Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.1% of Cousins Properties shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 11.8% of Empire State Realty Trust shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Cousins Properties and Empire State Realty Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cousins Properties 48.08% 8.39% 5.42%
Empire State Realty Trust 11.90% 3.98% 2.04%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Cousins Properties and Empire State Realty Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cousins Properties 0 0 4 0 3.00
Empire State Realty Trust 0 1 1 0 2.50

Cousins Properties currently has a consensus target price of $10.13, indicating a potential upside of 7.83%. Empire State Realty Trust has a consensus target price of $22.33, indicating a potential upside of 9.05%. Given Empire State Realty Trust’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Empire State Realty Trust is more favorable than Cousins Properties.

Summary

Cousins Properties beats Empire State Realty Trust on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cousins Properties Company Profile

Cousins Properties Incorporated is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. The Company’s segments include Office, Mixed-Use, Other, Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix and Other. It develops, acquires, leases, manages and owns primarily Class A office properties and opportunistic mixed-use developments in Sunbelt markets with a focus on Georgia, Texas and North Carolina. It manages a 15.8 million-square-foot trophy office portfolio in the Sun Belt markets of Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa and Tempe. As of December 31, 2016, its portfolio of real estate assets consisted of interests in 16.2 million square feet of office space and 786,000 square feet of mixed-use space. The Company, through Cousins TRS Services LLC, owns and manages its own real estate portfolio and performs certain real estate related services for other parties. Its properties include Colorado Tower, 816 Congress, Promenade and Gateway Village.

Empire State Realty Trust Company Profile

Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. The Company owns, manages, operates, acquires and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, including the Empire State Building. The Company operates through two segments: Real Estate and Observatory. The Real Estate segment includes all activities related to the ownership, management, operation, acquisition, repositioning and disposition of its real estate assets. The Observatory segment operates the 86th and 102nd floor observatories at the Empire State Building. As of December 31, 2016, its portfolio consisted of 14 office properties and six standalone retail properties totaling approximately 10.1 million rentable square feet. The Company’s properties include One Grand Central Place, 1400 Broadway, 111 West 33rd Street, 250 West 57th Street, 1359 Broadway and 1333 Broadway.

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