Meritage Corporation (NYSE: MTH) and NVR (NYSE:NVR) are both construction companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, risk and valuation.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Meritage Corporation and NVR’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Meritage Corporation $3.12 billion 0.52 $241.92 million $3.64 10.99
NVR $6.12 billion 1.63 $800.07 million $126.57 21.01

NVR has higher revenue and earnings than Meritage Corporation. Meritage Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than NVR, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

98.2% of Meritage Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 79.8% of NVR shares are held by institutional investors. 5.6% of Meritage Corporation shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 11.3% of NVR shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Meritage Corporation and NVR’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Meritage Corporation 4.94% 10.74% 5.16%
NVR 8.67% 37.43% 18.93%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Meritage Corporation and NVR, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Meritage Corporation 2 6 1 0 1.89
NVR 0 4 1 0 2.20

Meritage Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $40.29, suggesting a potential upside of 0.71%. NVR has a consensus target price of $2,645.00, suggesting a potential downside of 0.54%. Given Meritage Corporation’s higher probable upside, research analysts clearly believe Meritage Corporation is more favorable than NVR.

Risk & Volatility

Meritage Corporation has a beta of 1.47, indicating that its share price is 47% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, NVR has a beta of 0.67, indicating that its share price is 33% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

NVR beats Meritage Corporation on 10 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Meritage Corporation

Meritage Homes Corporation operates as a holding company. The Company is a designer and builder of single-family homes. The Company operates through two segments: homebuilding and financial services. The homebuilding segment is engaged in the business of acquiring and developing land, constructing homes, marketing and selling those homes, and providing warranty and customer services. It builds homes in the regions of the United States and offers a range of homes that are designed for a range of homebuyers, including first-time, move-up, active adult and luxury. As of December 31, 2016, it had homebuilding operations in three regions: West, Central and East, which were consisted of nine states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It also operates Carefree Title Agency, Inc. (Carefree Title) company. Carefree Title’s core business includes title insurance and closing/settlement services it offers to its homebuyers.

About NVR

NVR, Inc. is engaged in the construction and sale of single-family detached homes, townhomes and condominium buildings. The Company’s segments are Homebuilding Mid Atlantic, Homebuilding North East, Homebuilding Mid East, Homebuilding South East and Mortgage Banking. Its Homebuilding Mid Atlantic segment operates in various geographic regions, which include Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Washington, District of Columbia (D.C.). Its Homebuilding North East segment operates in various geographic regions, which include New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Its Homebuilding Mid East segment operates in various geographic regions, which include New York, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, The Homebuilding South East segment operates in various geographic regions, which include North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee. The Mortgage Banking segment provides mortgage-related services to home building customers through its mortgage banking operations.

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