Farmland Partners (NYSE: FPI) and The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO) are both financials companies, but which is the superior investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, earnings, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability and risk.

Risk & Volatility

Farmland Partners has a beta of 0.17, indicating that its share price is 83% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, The GEO Group has a beta of 1.52, indicating that its share price is 52% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Farmland Partners and The GEO Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Farmland Partners 15.89% 2.05% 0.74%
The GEO Group 7.05% 14.85% 4.17%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Farmland Partners and The GEO Group, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Farmland Partners 0 5 1 0 2.17
The GEO Group 0 1 2 0 2.67

Farmland Partners currently has a consensus price target of $9.95, suggesting a potential upside of 10.56%. The GEO Group has a consensus price target of $33.78, suggesting a potential upside of 30.77%. Given The GEO Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe The GEO Group is more favorable than Farmland Partners.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Farmland Partners and The GEO Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Farmland Partners $31.00 million 9.39 $4.30 million $0.19 47.37
The GEO Group $2.18 billion 1.47 $148.71 million $1.35 19.13

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

Insider and Institutional Ownership

40.8% of Farmland Partners shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 95.7% of The GEO Group shares are held by institutional investors. 2.8% of Farmland Partners shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.4% of The GEO Group shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Farmland Partners pays an annual dividend of $0.51 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.7%. The GEO Group pays an annual dividend of $1.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.3%. Farmland Partners pays out 268.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. The GEO Group pays out 139.3% 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 The GEO Group has increased its dividend for 4 consecutive years. The GEO Group is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Summary

The GEO Group beats Farmland Partners on 13 of the 17 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.

The GEO Group Company Profile

The GEO Group, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT) specializing in the ownership, leasing and management of correctional, detention and re-entry facilities and the provision of community-based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada. As of December 31, 2013, its worldwide operations included the management and/or ownership of approximately 77,000 beds at 98 correctional, detention and community based facilities, including idle faclities and projects under development, and also included the provision of monitoring of more than 70,000 offenders in a community-based environment on behalf of approximately 900 federal, state and local correctional agencies located in all 50 states. The Company operates in four segments: United States Corrections and Detention segment, segment; International Services segment and Facility Construction and Design segment.

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