Ventas (NYSE: VTR) and Welltower (NYSE:HCN) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, earnings and profitability.

Profitability

This table compares Ventas and Welltower’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ventas 20.08% 6.31% 2.81%
Welltower 28.94% 8.74% 4.39%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Ventas and Welltower, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ventas 3 5 0 0 1.63
Welltower 2 6 7 0 2.33

Ventas presently has a consensus target price of $62.67, suggesting a potential downside of 8.44%. Welltower has a consensus target price of $72.58, suggesting a potential downside of 0.87%. Given Welltower’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Welltower is more favorable than Ventas.

Dividends

Ventas pays an annual dividend of $3.10 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. Welltower pays an annual dividend of $3.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.8%. Ventas pays out 157.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Welltower pays out 108.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Ventas has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years and Welltower has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years. Welltower is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

89.4% of Ventas shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 86.0% of Welltower shares are held by institutional investors. 1.3% of Ventas shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.2% of Welltower shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Ventas has a beta of 0.07, suggesting that its share price is 93% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Welltower has a beta of 0.23, suggesting that its share price is 77% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Ventas and Welltower’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ventas $3.52 billion 6.92 $1.88 billion $1.97 34.74
Welltower $4.19 billion 6.45 $2.05 billion $3.21 22.81

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

Summary

Welltower beats Ventas on 13 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Ventas

Ventas, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT) with its properties located throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: triple-net leased properties, senior living operations and office operations. Under its triple-net leased properties segment, the Company invests in and owns seniors housing and healthcare properties throughout the United States and the United Kingdom and leases those properties to healthcare operating companies under triple-net or absolute-net leases that obligate the tenants to pay all property-related expenses. In its senior living operations segment, it invests in seniors housing communities throughout the United States and Canada and engages independent operators to manage those communities. In its office operations segment, the Company primarily acquires, owns, develops, leases and manages medical office buildings (MOBs) and life science and innovation centers throughout the United States.

About Welltower

Welltower Inc. invests with seniors housing operators, post-acute providers and health systems to fund real estate and infrastructure. The Company invests in seniors housing and healthcare real estate. It operates in three segments: triple-net, seniors housing operating and outpatient medical. Welltower, a real estate investment trust (REIT), owns interests in properties concentrated in markets in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, consisting of seniors housing and post-acute communities, and outpatient medical properties. Its triple-net properties include independent living facilities, independent supportive living facilities (Canada), continuing care retirement communities, assisted living facilities, care homes with and without nursing (the United Kingdom), Alzheimer’s/dementia care facilities, long-term/post-acute care facilities and hospitals. Its outpatient medical properties include outpatient medical buildings.

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