Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (NASDAQ:WHLR) versus Essex Property Trust (NASDAQ:ESS) Financial Contrast

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (NASDAQ:WHLR) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, profitability, earnings, risk, institutional ownership and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

Essex Property Trust pays an annual dividend of $7.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust does not pay a dividend. Essex Property Trust pays out 62.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Essex Property Trust has raised its dividend for 25 consecutive years and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for Essex Property Trust and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Essex Property Trust 0 10 9 0 2.47
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust 0 0 0 0 N/A

Essex Property Trust presently has a consensus price target of $284.40, suggesting a potential downside of 6.43%. Given Essex Property Trust’s higher possible upside, research analysts clearly believe Essex Property Trust is more favorable than Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust.

Profitability

This table compares Essex Property Trust and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Essex Property Trust 29.67% 6.50% 3.33%
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust -21.46% -103.06% -2.12%

Institutional and Insider Ownership

97.7% of Essex Property Trust shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 18.1% of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust shares are held by institutional investors. 3.6% of Essex Property Trust shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 5.3% of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Essex Property Trust and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Essex Property Trust $1.40 billion 14.26 $390.15 million $12.57 24.18
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust $65.71 million 0.24 -$16.50 million N/A N/A

Essex Property Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust.

Volatility and Risk

Essex Property Trust has a beta of 0.36, suggesting that its stock price is 64% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust has a beta of 3.37, suggesting that its stock price is 237% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Essex Property Trust beats Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust on 12 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Essex Property Trust

Essex Property Trust, Inc., an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast markets. Essex currently has ownership interests in 245 apartment communities with an additional 6 properties in various stages of active development.

About Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust

Headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. is a fully-integrated, self-managed commercial real estate investment company focused on owning and operating income-producing retail properties with a primary focus on grocery-anchored centers. Wheeler's portfolio contains well-located, potentially dominant retail properties in secondary and tertiary markets that generate attractive, risk-adjusted returns, with a particular emphasis on grocery-anchored retail centers.

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