Equity Lifestyle Properties (NYSE: ELS) and Colony Capital (NYSE:CLNY) are both finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, institutional ownership and valuation.

Dividends

Equity Lifestyle Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.95 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Colony Capital pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share. 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. Colony Capital pays out 192.8% 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 Colony Capital has raised its dividend for 8 consecutive years. Equity Lifestyle Properties is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

97.9% of Equity Lifestyle Properties shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.1% of Colony Capital shares are owned by institutional investors. 6.1% of Equity Lifestyle Properties shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 17.7% of Colony Capital shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Equity Lifestyle Properties and Colony Capital’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Equity Lifestyle Properties 22.52% 21.07% 5.87%
Colony Capital 31.43% 3.16% 2.88%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Equity Lifestyle Properties and Colony Capital, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Equity Lifestyle Properties 0 5 0 0 2.00
Colony Capital 0 0 0 0 N/A

Equity Lifestyle Properties currently has a consensus price target of $86.00, indicating a potential downside of 1.31%.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Equity Lifestyle Properties and Colony Capital’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Equity Lifestyle Properties $870.43 million 8.79 $173.26 million $2.09 41.69
Colony Capital N/A N/A N/A $0.83 N/A

Equity Lifestyle Properties has higher revenue and earnings than Colony Capital. Colony Capital 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

Equity Lifestyle Properties beats Colony Capital on 8 of the 11 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 Colony Capital

Colony Capital, Inc., formerly Colony Financial, Inc., is a global real estate and investment management company. The Company operates through five segments: Real Estate Equity, including Light industrial real estate assets and operating platform; Single-family residential rentals through an investment in Colony Starwood Homes and Other real estate equity investments; Real Estate Debt, which includes loan originations and acquisitions, and Investment Management, which includes investment management of the Company-sponsored funds and other investment vehicles. Through its global investment management business, it has over $18.8 billion of assets under management. Its business objective is to provide risk-adjusted returns to its investors through a diversified portfolio of direct and indirect real estate-related equity and real estate debt investments, and fee bearing management contracts on investment funds that it manages.

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