Reviewing Excel Trust (EXL) and Armada Hoffler Properties (AHH)

Excel Trust (NYSE: EXL) and Armada Hoffler Properties (NYSE:AHH) are both small-cap financials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, profitability and dividends.

Risk and Volatility

Excel Trust has a beta of 0.49, suggesting that its stock price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Armada Hoffler Properties has a beta of 0.58, suggesting that its stock price is 42% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

82.0% of Armada Hoffler Properties shares are owned by institutional investors. 16.6% of Armada Hoffler Properties 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.

Dividends

Armada Hoffler Properties pays an annual dividend of $0.76 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.2%. Excel Trust does not pay a dividend. Armada Hoffler Properties pays out 161.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Armada Hoffler Properties has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Excel Trust and Armada Hoffler Properties’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Excel Trust 9.45% 0.65% 0.88%
Armada Hoffler Properties 7.78% 6.36% 2.47%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Excel Trust and Armada Hoffler Properties’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Excel Trust N/A N/A N/A $0.26 60.92
Armada Hoffler Properties $258.39 million 2.54 $28.07 million $0.47 31.02

Armada Hoffler Properties has higher revenue and earnings than Excel Trust. Armada Hoffler Properties is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Excel Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Excel Trust and Armada Hoffler Properties, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Excel Trust 0 0 0 0 N/A
Armada Hoffler Properties 0 3 4 0 2.57

Armada Hoffler Properties has a consensus target price of $14.75, indicating a potential upside of 1.17%. Given Armada Hoffler Properties’ higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Armada Hoffler Properties is more favorable than Excel Trust.

Summary

Armada Hoffler Properties beats Excel Trust on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Excel Trust

Excel Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is a vertically integrated, self-administered, self-managed real estate firm with the principal objective of acquiring, financing, developing, leasing, owning and managing community and power centers, grocery anchored neighborhood centers and freestanding retail properties. It operates through three segments: retail properties, multi-family properties and office properties. It owns approximately 38 consolidated retail operating properties with a total of approximately 7.2 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA). The multi-family segment consists of apartment units at one retail property, West Broad Village, which is located in Richmond, Virginia. The office segment consists of two properties, Excel Centre, a portion of which is utilized as its headquarters, and the Promenade Corporate Center. These office properties total approximately 338,339 square feet of GLA.

About Armada Hoffler Properties

Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc. is a real estate company. The Company is engaged in developing, building, owning and managing institutional-grade office, retail and multifamily properties in various markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. In addition to the ownership of its operating property portfolio, the Company develops and builds properties for its own account and through joint ventures between the Company and unaffiliated partners. It also provides general contracting services to third parties. Its construction and development experience includes mid- and high-rise office buildings, retail strip malls and retail power centers, multifamily apartment communities, hotels and conference centers, single- and multi-tenant industrial, distribution and manufacturing facilities, educational, medical and special purpose facilities, government projects, parking garages and mixed-use town centers.

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