Ladder Capital Corp (NYSE: LADR) and Great Ajax Corp. (NYSE:AJX) are both small-cap financials companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, profitability, risk and dividends.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Ladder Capital Corp and Great Ajax Corp., as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Ladder Capital Corp 0 1 4 0 2.80
Great Ajax Corp. 0 1 3 0 2.75

Ladder Capital Corp presently has a consensus price target of $16.25, suggesting a potential upside of 17.16%. Great Ajax Corp. has a consensus price target of $14.75, suggesting a potential upside of 3.29%. Given Ladder Capital Corp’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Ladder Capital Corp is more favorable than Great Ajax Corp..

Institutional and Insider Ownership

46.1% of Ladder Capital Corp shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 74.2% of Great Ajax Corp. shares are held by institutional investors. 12.5% of Ladder Capital Corp shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.8% of Great Ajax Corp. shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Ladder Capital Corp has a beta of 1.03, indicating that its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Great Ajax Corp. has a beta of 0.85, indicating that its stock price is 15% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Ladder Capital Corp pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.7%. Great Ajax Corp. pays an annual dividend of $1.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.4%. Ladder Capital Corp pays out 137.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Great Ajax Corp. pays out 78.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Ladder Capital Corp and Great Ajax Corp.’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Ladder Capital Corp $399.68 million 3.84 $66.72 million $0.87 15.94
Great Ajax Corp. $44.69 million 5.83 $27.83 million $1.53 9.33

Ladder Capital Corp has higher revenue and earnings than Great Ajax Corp.. Great Ajax Corp. is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Ladder Capital Corp, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Ladder Capital Corp and Great Ajax Corp.’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Ladder Capital Corp 27.38% 9.78% 2.40%
Great Ajax Corp. 55.23% 10.04% 2.77%

Summary

Ladder Capital Corp beats Great Ajax Corp. on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Ladder Capital Corp Company Profile

Ladder Capital Corp is a commercial real estate finance company. The Company’s segments include loans, securities, real estate and corporate/other. The loans segment includes mortgage loan receivables held for investment (balance sheet loans) and mortgage loan receivables held for sale (conduit loans). The securities segment consists of all of its activities related to commercial real estate securities, which include investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and United States Agency Securities. The real estate segment includes net leased properties, office buildings, a warehouse and condominium units. The Corporate/other segment includes the Company’s investments in joint ventures, other asset management activities and operating expenses. The Company invests primarily in loans, securities and other interests in the United States commercial real estate, with a focus on senior secured assets.

Great Ajax Corp. Company Profile

Great Ajax Corp. is an externally managed real estate company. The Company is focused on acquiring, investing in and managing a portfolio of re-performing and non-performing mortgage loans secured by single-family residences and single-family properties. Its segment is focused on non-performing mortgages and re-performing mortgages. It also invests in loans secured by multi-family residential and commercial mixed use retail/residential properties, as well as in the properties directly. It also holds real estate-owned properties (REO) acquired upon the foreclosure or other settlement of its owned non-performing loans, as well as through outright purchases. It is managed by Thetis Asset Management LLC, an affiliated entity. Its mortgage loans and other real estate assets are serviced by Gregory Funding LLC, an affiliated entity. The Company conducts its business through its operating partnership, Great Ajax Operating Partnership L.P.

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