Post Properties (NYSE: PPS) and Education Realty Trust (NYSE:EDR) are both mid-cap financials companies, but which is the superior business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, earnings, valuation, dividends, profitability, risk and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Post Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.9%. Education Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.7%. 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. Education Realty Trust pays out 339.1% 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 increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years and Education Realty Trust has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

94.3% of Post Properties shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.2% of Post Properties shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of Education Realty Trust shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Post Properties and Education Realty Trust’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) 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
Education Realty Trust $288.97 million 8.72 $44.92 million $0.46 72.28

Education Realty Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Post Properties. Post Properties is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Education Realty Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility and Risk

Post Properties has a beta of 0.14, suggesting that its share price is 86% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Education Realty Trust has a beta of 0.44, suggesting that its share price is 56% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Post Properties and Education Realty Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Post Properties 0 0 0 0 N/A
Education Realty Trust 2 5 6 0 2.31

Education Realty Trust has a consensus target price of $40.90, suggesting a potential upside of 23.01%. Given Education Realty Trust’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Education Realty Trust is more favorable than Post Properties.

Profitability

This table compares Post Properties and Education Realty Trust’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%
Education Realty Trust 11.33% 2.01% 1.32%

Summary

Post Properties beats Education Realty Trust on 7 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Post Properties Company Profile

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.

Education Realty Trust Company Profile

Education Realty Trust, Inc. (EdR) is a self-managed and self-advised real estate investment trust (REIT). The Trust is engaged in developing, acquiring, owning and managing collegiate housing communities located near university campuses. The Trust operates through three segments: collegiate housing leasing, development consulting services and management services. The Trust develops collegiate housing communities for its own account and also provides third-party development consulting services on collegiate housing development projects for universities and other third parties. As of December 31, 2016, the Trust owned 64 collegiate housing communities located in 22 states containing 32,729 beds in 12,294 apartment units on or near 38 university campuses. As of December 31, 2016, the Trust provided third-party management services for 22 collegiate housing communities located in 11 states containing 11,767 beds in 4,214 apartment units on or near 17 university campuses.

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