Excel Trust (NYSE: EXL) and Columbia Property Trust (NYSE:CXP) are both commercial reits – nec companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, dividends, risk, earnings, analyst recommendations and valuation.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Excel Trust and Columbia Property Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Excel Trust 0 0 0 0 N/A
Columbia Property Trust 0 3 3 0 2.50

Columbia Property Trust has a consensus price target of $23.50, indicating a potential upside of 7.01%. Given Columbia Property Trust’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Columbia Property Trust is more favorable than Excel Trust.

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Excel Trust 9.45% 0.65% 0.88%
Columbia Property Trust 63.37% 8.10% 4.91%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

67.5% of Columbia Property Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 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.

Dividends

Columbia Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.6%. Excel Trust does not pay a dividend. Columbia Property Trust pays out 47.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Excel Trust and Columbia Property Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Excel Trust N/A N/A N/A $0.26 60.92
Columbia Property Trust $473.54 million 5.56 $84.28 million $1.68 13.07

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

Volatility and Risk

Excel Trust has a beta of 0.49, suggesting that its share price is 51% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Columbia Property Trust has a beta of 1.17, suggesting that its share price is 17% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Columbia Property Trust beats Excel Trust on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Excel Trust Company Profile

Excel Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is a vertically integrated, self-administered, self-managed real estate firm with the principal objective of acquiring, financing, developing, leasing, owning and managing community and power centers, grocery anchored neighborhood centers and freestanding retail properties. It operates through three segments: retail properties, multi-family properties and office properties. It owns approximately 38 consolidated retail operating properties with a total of approximately 7.2 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA). The multi-family segment consists of apartment units at one retail property, West Broad Village, which is located in Richmond, Virginia. The office segment consists of two properties, Excel Centre, a portion of which is utilized as its headquarters, and the Promenade Corporate Center. These office properties total approximately 338,339 square feet of GLA.

Columbia Property Trust Company Profile

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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