Essex Property Trust (NYSE: ESS) is one of 44 publicly-traded companies in the “Residential REITs” industry, but how does it compare to its peers? We will compare Essex Property Trust to similar businesses based on the strength of its analyst recommendations, dividends, earnings, valuation, risk, institutional ownership and profitability.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Essex Property Trust and its peers top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
Essex Property Trust $1.37 billion $932.45 million 32.38
Essex Property Trust Competitors $702.65 million $394.70 million 0.38

Essex Property Trust has higher revenue and earnings than its peers. Essex Property Trust is trading at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more expensive than other companies in its industry.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

99.4% of Essex Property Trust shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 77.0% of shares of all “Residential REITs” companies are held by institutional investors. 3.3% of Essex Property Trust shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 7.1% of shares of all “Residential REITs” companies are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Essex Property Trust has a beta of 0.53, meaning that its stock price is 47% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Essex Property Trust’s peers have a beta of 0.61, meaning that their average stock price is 39% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Essex Property Trust and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Essex Property Trust 38.33% 8.03% 4.11%
Essex Property Trust Competitors 18.59% 5.04% 1.96%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Essex Property Trust and its peers, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Essex Property Trust 2 9 7 0 2.28
Essex Property Trust Competitors 288 1339 1278 36 2.36

Essex Property Trust presently has a consensus target price of $266.57, suggesting a potential upside of 5.82%. As a group, “Residential REITs” companies have a potential upside of 2.04%. Given Essex Property Trust’s higher probable upside, equities analysts clearly believe Essex Property Trust is more favorable than its peers.

Dividends

Essex Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $7.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Essex Property Trust pays out 90.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. As a group, “Residential REITs” companies pay a dividend yield of 3.4% and pay out 119.1% of their earnings in the form of a dividend. Essex Property Trust has increased its dividend for 23 consecutive years.

Summary

Essex Property Trust beats its peers on 9 of the 15 factors compared.

About Essex Property Trust

Essex Property Trust, Inc. is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. The Company is engaged primarily in the ownership, operation, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment of predominantly apartment communities, located along the West Coast. Its segments include Southern California, Northern California, Seattle Metro and Other real estate assets. The Company owns all of its interest in its real estate and other investments directly or indirectly through Essex Portfolio, L.P. (the Operating Partnership). Its properties include Mio, Form 15, Emerson Valley Village and Ashton Sherman Village. As of December 31, 2016, it owned or held an interest in 245 communities, aggregating 59,645 apartment homes, excluding its ownership in preferred equity investments, as well as two operating commercial buildings (totaling approximately 140,564 square feet), and six active development projects with 2,223 apartment homes in various stages of development.

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