Farmland Partners (NYSE: FPI) and QTS Realty Trust (NYSE:QTS) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, profitability, analyst recommendations, valuation, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Volatility and Risk

Farmland Partners has a beta of 0.18, indicating that its stock price is 82% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, QTS Realty Trust has a beta of 0.47, indicating that its stock price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Farmland Partners and QTS Realty Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Farmland Partners $38.89 million 7.31 $24.04 million $0.12 72.76
QTS Realty Trust $422.74 million 5.96 $158.07 million $0.40 129.05

QTS Realty Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Farmland Partners. Farmland Partners is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than QTS Realty Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for Farmland Partners and QTS Realty Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Farmland Partners 0 4 1 0 2.20
QTS Realty Trust 0 4 9 0 2.69

Farmland Partners currently has a consensus target price of $10.13, indicating a potential upside of 15.98%. QTS Realty Trust has a consensus target price of $56.92, indicating a potential upside of 10.26%. Given Farmland Partners’ higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Farmland Partners is more favorable than QTS Realty Trust.

Dividends

Farmland Partners pays an annual dividend of $0.51 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.8%. QTS Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.0%. Farmland Partners pays out 425.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. QTS Realty Trust pays out 390.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Farmland Partners has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years and QTS Realty Trust has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

39.7% of Farmland Partners shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.8% of Farmland Partners shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 17.3% of QTS Realty Trust shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares Farmland Partners and QTS Realty Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Farmland Partners 12.46% 1.66% 0.60%
QTS Realty Trust 4.60% 2.04% 0.93%

Summary

QTS Realty Trust beats Farmland Partners on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Farmland Partners Company Profile

Farmland Partners, Inc. is an internally managed real estate company. The Company owns and seeks to acquire farmland located in agricultural markets throughout North America. The Company is the sole member of the general partner of Farmland Partners Operating Partnership, LP (the Operating Partnership). All of the Company’s assets are held by, and its operations are primarily conducted through, the Operating Partnership and the subsidiaries of the Operating Partnership. The Company’s principal investment focus is on farmland located in agricultural markets throughout North America, however, it may seek to acquire farmland outside of North America. It also may acquire properties related to farming, such as grain storage facilities, grain elevators, feedlots, cold storage facilities, processing plants and distribution centers, as well as livestock farms or ranches. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned approximately 115,489 acres, as well as eight grain storage facilities.

QTS Realty Trust Company Profile

QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (QTS) is a provider of secure, compliant data center solutions, hybrid cloud and fully managed services. The Company owns, develops and operates carrier-neutral and multi-tenant data centers. Its data centers are facilities that house the network and computer equipment of multiple customers and provide access to a range of communications carriers. The Company has an integrated platform through which it owns and operates its data centers and provides a range of information technology (IT) infrastructure solutions. Its spectrum of core data center products is referred to as 3Cs, which consists of Custom Data Center (C1), Colocation (C2), and Cloud and Managed Services (C3). Its 3C integrated technology platform provides information technology solutions for Web and information technology applications. Its data centers facilities are used by its customers to house, power and cool the networking equipment and computer systems that support their business processes.

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