RAIT Financial Trust (NYSE: RAS) and Columbia Property Trust (NYSE:CXP) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings, risk, institutional ownership and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for RAIT Financial Trust and Columbia Property Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
RAIT Financial Trust 1 3 0 0 1.75
Columbia Property Trust 0 2 5 0 2.71

RAIT Financial Trust presently has a consensus price target of $1.43, indicating a potential upside of 275.00%. Columbia Property Trust has a consensus price target of $24.33, indicating a potential upside of 5.89%. Given RAIT Financial Trust’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe RAIT Financial Trust is more favorable than Columbia Property Trust.

Dividends

RAIT Financial Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 52.6%. Columbia Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. RAIT Financial Trust pays out -11.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Columbia Property Trust pays out 47.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. RAIT Financial Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares RAIT Financial Trust and Columbia Property Trust’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
RAIT Financial Trust $173.61 million 0.20 $25.34 million ($1.80) -0.21
Columbia Property Trust $473.54 million 5.81 $84.28 million $1.68 13.68

Columbia Property Trust has higher revenue and earnings than RAIT Financial Trust. RAIT Financial Trust is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Columbia Property Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

RAIT Financial Trust has a beta of 1.51, suggesting that its stock price is 51% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Columbia Property Trust has a beta of 1.17, suggesting that its stock price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares RAIT Financial Trust and Columbia Property Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
RAIT Financial Trust -137.66% -0.66% -0.09%
Columbia Property Trust 63.37% 8.10% 4.91%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

51.8% of RAIT Financial Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 67.4% of Columbia Property Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.3% of RAIT Financial Trust shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of Columbia Property Trust shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Columbia Property Trust beats RAIT Financial Trust on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About RAIT Financial Trust

RAIT Financial Trust (RAIT) is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company focuses on providing commercial real estate (CRE) financing throughout the United States. The core of its business is a full service CRE lending platform focused on first lien loans. It offers customized lending solutions to meet borrower needs and internal credit goals. It offers personalized middle-market financing solutions and a complement of lending products for CRE. The Company may also offer mezzanine loans and preferred equity interests in limited circumstances to support first lien loans. It is engaged in floating rate securitization programs and has access to multiple sources of funding, including senior debt, convertible securities, preferred securities and common securities. The Company also owns and manages a portfolio of CRE properties, and manages real estate assets for third parties. The Company is engaged in lending, owning and managing CRE assets throughout the United States.

About Columbia Property Trust

Columbia Property Trust, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT), which owns and operates commercial real estate properties. The Company’s primary objective is to generate long-term shareholder returns from a combination of steadily growing cash flows and appreciation in its net asset values, through the acquisition and ownership of office buildings located principally in high-barrier-to-entry markets. The Company’s segments include New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles and all other office markets. The all other office markets segment consists of properties in similar, low-barrier to entry geographic locations, in which the Company does not plan to make further investments. The Company conducts its business primarily through Columbia Property Trust Operating Partnership, L.P. (Columbia Property Trust OP), which acquires, develops, owns, leases and operates real properties directly through subsidiaries or through joint ventures.

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