Excel Trust (NYSE: EXL) and Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) are both financials companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, risk, institutional ownership and valuation.

Dividends

Whitestone REIT pays an annual dividend of $1.14 per share and has a dividend yield of 9.0%. Excel Trust does not pay a dividend. Whitestone REIT pays out 877.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Whitestone REIT has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for Excel Trust and Whitestone REIT, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Excel Trust 0 0 0 0 N/A
Whitestone REIT 1 1 2 0 2.25

Whitestone REIT has a consensus price target of $14.67, suggesting a potential upside of 15.21%. Given Whitestone REIT’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Whitestone REIT is more favorable than Excel Trust.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Excel Trust and Whitestone REIT’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Excel Trust N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Whitestone REIT $112.35 million 4.36 $49.43 million $0.13 97.93

Whitestone REIT has higher revenue and earnings than Excel Trust.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

43.8% of Whitestone REIT shares are held by institutional investors. 5.3% of Whitestone REIT shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Excel Trust and Whitestone REIT’s 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%
Whitestone REIT 4.36% 1.69% 0.54%

Summary

Whitestone REIT beats Excel Trust on 8 of the 11 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 Whitestone REIT

Whitestone REIT is a real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged in owning and operating commercial properties in culturally diverse markets in various metropolitan areas. The Company’s acquisition targets are located in densely populated, culturally diverse neighborhoods, primarily in and around Austin, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix and San Antonio. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned or held interests in 69 commercial properties, including 15 properties in Houston, five properties in Dallas-Fort Worth, three properties in San Antonio, four properties in Austin, 27 properties in the Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan areas, and one property in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s properties included Heritage Trace Plaza, Headquarters Village, La Mirada, The Marketplace at Central, Mercado at Scottsdale Ranch, Paradise Plaza, Parkside Village North, Pima Norte and Quinlan Crossing.

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