Post Properties (NYSE: PPS) and Colony Capital (NYSE:CLNY) are both residential reits companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, valuation, earnings and dividends.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

94.3% of Post Properties shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 94.1% of Colony Capital shares are held by institutional investors. 2.2% of Post Properties shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 17.7% of Colony Capital shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Post Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Colony Capital pays an annual dividend of $1.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.4%. Post Properties pays out 131.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Colony Capital pays out 192.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Post Properties has raised its dividend for 7 consecutive years and Colony Capital has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Post Properties and Colony Capital’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Post Properties N/A N/A N/A $1.43 45.47
Colony Capital N/A N/A N/A $0.83 25.93

Colony Capital is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Post Properties, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Post Properties and Colony Capital’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Post Properties 17.36% 5.79% 3.07%
Colony Capital 31.43% 3.16% 2.88%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Post Properties and Colony Capital, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Post Properties 0 0 0 0 N/A
Colony Capital 0 1 1 0 2.50

Colony Capital has a consensus target price of $27.50, indicating a potential upside of 27.79%. Given Colony Capital’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Colony Capital is more favorable than Post Properties.

Summary

Post Properties beats Colony Capital on 6 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Post Properties

Post Properties, Inc. is a self-administrated and self-managed equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company’s segments include Fully stabilized (same store) communities, which includes apartment communities that have been stabilized for both the current and prior year; Newly stabilized communities, which includes communities that reached stabilized occupancy in the prior year; Lease-up communities, which includes communities that are under development, rehabilitation and in lease-up but were not stabilized by the beginning of the current year, including communities that stabilized during the current year; Acquired communities, which include communities acquired in the current or prior year, and Held for sale and sold communities, which include apartment and mixed-use communities classified as held for sale or sold. Its operating divisions include Post Apartment Management, Post Construction and Property Services, Post Investment Group and Post Corporate Services.

About Colony Capital

Colony Capital, Inc., formerly Colony Financial, Inc., is a global real estate and investment management company. The Company operates through five segments: Real Estate Equity, including Light industrial real estate assets and operating platform; Single-family residential rentals through an investment in Colony Starwood Homes and Other real estate equity investments; Real Estate Debt, which includes loan originations and acquisitions, and Investment Management, which includes investment management of the Company-sponsored funds and other investment vehicles. Through its global investment management business, it has over $18.8 billion of assets under management. Its business objective is to provide risk-adjusted returns to its investors through a diversified portfolio of direct and indirect real estate-related equity and real estate debt investments, and fee bearing management contracts on investment funds that it manages.

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