Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LPT) and American Assets Trust (NYSE:AAT) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, valuation, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Profitability

This table compares Liberty Property Trust and American Assets Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Liberty Property Trust 47.78% 11.41% 5.69%
American Assets Trust 10.90% 3.97% 1.58%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Liberty Property Trust and American Assets Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Liberty Property Trust $746.71 million 8.22 $356.81 million $2.37 17.58
American Assets Trust $295.09 million 5.93 $45.63 million $0.66 56.24

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

Insider & Institutional Ownership

91.3% of Liberty Property Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.2% of American Assets Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.5% of Liberty Property Trust shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 34.2% of American Assets Trust shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Liberty Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.8%. American Assets Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Liberty Property Trust pays out 67.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. American Assets Trust pays out 163.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. American Assets Trust has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years. Liberty Property Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and target prices for Liberty Property Trust and American Assets Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Liberty Property Trust 1 5 2 0 2.13
American Assets Trust 0 2 1 0 2.33

Liberty Property Trust currently has a consensus price target of $43.14, suggesting a potential upside of 3.56%. American Assets Trust has a consensus price target of $43.67, suggesting a potential upside of 17.64%. Given American Assets Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe American Assets Trust is more favorable than Liberty Property Trust.

Volatility & Risk

Liberty Property Trust has a beta of 0.89, indicating that its share price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, American Assets Trust has a beta of 0.52, indicating that its share price is 48% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Liberty Property Trust beats American Assets Trust on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Liberty Property Trust

Liberty Property Trust (the Trust) is a self-administered and self-managed Maryland real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust’s assets are owned directly or indirectly, and substantially all of the Trust’s operations are conducted directly or indirectly, by its subsidiary, Liberty Property Limited Partnership (the Operating Partnership). The Company’s segments include Carolinas/Richmond; Chicago/Milwaukee; Florida; Houston; Lehigh/Central PA; Minnesota; Philadelphia; Southeastern PA; United Kingdom, and Other, which includes Arizona; Atlanta; Cincinnati/Columbus/Indianapolis; Dallas; DC Metro; New Jersey; Southern California, and other. The Company owns and operates industrial properties nationally and owns and operates office properties in a focused group of office markets. Additionally, the Company owns certain assets in the United Kingdom. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and operated 450 industrial and 55 office properties totaling 86.0 million square feet.

About American Assets Trust

American Assets Trust, Inc. is a full service, vertically integrated and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company owns, operates, acquires and develops retail, office, multifamily and mixed-use properties in Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Hawaii markets. The Company operates in four business segments: retail, office, multifamily and mixed-use. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s portfolio consisted of 11 retail shopping centers; seven office properties; a mixed-use property consisting of a 369-room all-suite hotel and a retail shopping center, and five multifamily properties. Additionally, as of December 31, 2016, the Company owned land at four of its properties that it classified as held for development and construction in progress. The Company’s markets include San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, Oregon, Bellevue, Washington and Oahu, Hawaii.

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