Medical Properties Trust (NYSE: MPW) and National Health Investors (NYSE:NHI) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitabiliy and institutional ownership.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

78.6% of Medical Properties Trust shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.5% of National Health Investors shares are held by institutional investors. 1.0% of Medical Properties Trust shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 5.2% of National Health Investors shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Medical Properties Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.96 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.5%. National Health Investors pays an annual dividend of $3.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.0%. Medical Properties Trust pays out 114.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. National Health Investors pays out 92.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Medical Properties Trust has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years and National Health Investors has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Volatility and Risk

Medical Properties Trust has a beta of 0.89, suggesting that its share price is 11% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, National Health Investors has a beta of 0.56, suggesting that its share price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Medical Properties Trust and National Health Investors’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Medical Properties Trust 41.79% 7.94% 3.85%
National Health Investors 63.72% 13.36% 6.76%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings for Medical Properties Trust and National Health Investors, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Medical Properties Trust 2 4 6 0 2.33
National Health Investors 1 3 2 0 2.17

Medical Properties Trust presently has a consensus target price of $14.11, indicating a potential upside of 10.24%. National Health Investors has a consensus target price of $78.80, indicating a potential upside of 4.10%. Given Medical Properties Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Medical Properties Trust is more favorable than National Health Investors.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Medical Properties Trust and National Health Investors’ revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Medical Properties Trust $568.13 million 8.20 $468.31 million $0.84 15.24
National Health Investors $255.06 million 12.16 $233.77 million $4.12 18.37

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

Summary

National Health Investors beats Medical Properties Trust on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Medical Properties Trust

Medical Properties Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company focuses on investing in and owning net-leased healthcare facilities across the United States and selectively in foreign jurisdictions. The Company’s segment is its investments in healthcare real estate, including mortgage and other loans, as well as any equity investments in its tenants. The Company conducts its operations through MPT Operating Partnership, L.P. The Company acquires and develops healthcare facilities, and leases the facilities to healthcare operating companies under long-term net leases. The Company makes mortgage loans to healthcare operators collateralized by their real estate assets. As of February 24, 2017, the Company’s portfolio consisted of 232 properties, including 215 facilities (of the 220 facilities that it owns) were leased to 30 tenants, five were under development, and the remaining assets were in the form of mortgage loans to four operators.

About National Health Investors

National Health Investors, Inc. is a self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in sale-leaseback, joint-venture, mortgage and mezzanine financing of need-driven and discretionary senior housing and medical investments. The Company is engaged in the business of owning and financing healthcare properties. Its portfolio consists of lease, mortgage and other note investments in independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, entrance-fee communities, senior living campuses, skilled nursing facilities, specialty hospitals and medical office buildings. Its other investments include marketable securities and a joint venture structured to comply with the provisions of the REIT Investment Diversification Empowerment Act of 2007 (RIDEA) through which it invests in facility operations managed by an independent third party. As of December 31, 2016, it had investments in real estate, mortgage and other notes receivable involving 205 facilities located in 32 states.

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