Urban Edge Properties (NYSE: UE) and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (NASDAQ:WHLR) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, risk, profitability and institutional ownership.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

87.2% of Urban Edge Properties shares are held by institutional investors. 4.7% of Urban Edge Properties shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.3% of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Urban Edge Properties pays an annual dividend of $0.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.68 per share and has a dividend yield of 14.9%. Urban Edge Properties pays out 87.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust pays out -91.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Volatility and Risk

Urban Edge Properties has a beta of 0.59, meaning that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust has a beta of 1.16, meaning that its stock price is 16% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Urban Edge Properties and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Urban Edge Properties 27.04% 16.72% 4.87%
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust -13.41% -14.10% -1.88%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Urban Edge Properties and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Urban Edge Properties 1 0 0 0 1.00
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust 0 1 3 0 2.75

Urban Edge Properties currently has a consensus price target of $25.00, indicating a potential downside of 1.11%. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust has a consensus price target of $16.00, indicating a potential upside of 41.72%. Given Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust is more favorable than Urban Edge Properties.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Urban Edge Properties and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Urban Edge Properties $379.02 million 7.17 $230.14 million $1.01 25.03
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust $52.98 million 1.85 $32.30 million ($1.83) -6.17

Urban Edge Properties has higher revenue and earnings than Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Urban Edge Properties, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Urban Edge Properties beats Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Urban Edge Properties

Urban Edge Properties is a real estate investment trust. The Company is focused on managing, developing, redeveloping and acquiring retail real estate in urban communities, in the New York metropolitan region. Urban Edge Properties LP (UELP or the Operating Partnership) serves as its partnership subsidiary and owns, through affiliates, all of its real estate properties and other assets. As of December 31, 2016, its portfolio consisted of 79 shopping centers, three malls and a warehouse park adjacent to one of its centers totaling 14.8 million square feet. As of December 31, 2016, it leased 19 properties under ground and/or building leases. As of December 31, 2016, it had approximately 1,200 leases. Its shopping centers and malls are located at California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Puerto Rico. Its shopping centers and malls include Signal Hill, Vallejo, Walnut Creek, Newington and others.

About Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. is a self-managed commercial real estate investment company. The Company focuses on acquiring and managing retail properties with a primary focus on grocery-anchored centers. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned a portfolio consisting of 74 properties, including 59 retail shopping centers and five freestanding retail properties totaling 4,906,511 gross leasable square feet of which approximately 94% were leased, one office property, eight undeveloped land parcels totaling approximately 70 acres and one redevelopment project. Its properties are located in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Its properties include Alex City Marketplace, Berkley Shopping Center, Clover Plaza, Darien Shopping Center, Cypress Shopping Center, Harrodsburg Marketplace, LaGrange Marketplace, Riverbridge Shopping Center and Village of Martinsville.

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