Meritage Corporation (MTH) and M.D.C. Holdings (MDC) Head to Head Contrast

Meritage Corporation (NYSE: MTH) and M.D.C. Holdings (NYSE:MDC) are both small-cap construction companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, profitabiliy, risk, valuation, earnings and analyst recommendations.

Risk and Volatility

Meritage Corporation has a beta of 1.54, meaning that its stock price is 54% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, M.D.C. Holdings has a beta of 1.43, meaning that its stock price is 43% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

97.7% of Meritage Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 81.0% of M.D.C. Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.6% of Meritage Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 25.3% of M.D.C. Holdings shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Meritage Corporation and M.D.C. Holdings’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Meritage Corporation $3.12 billion 0.53 $238.33 million $3.61 11.27
M.D.C. Holdings $2.50 billion 0.72 $189.74 million $2.25 15.44

Meritage Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than M.D.C. Holdings. Meritage Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than M.D.C. Holdings, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings for Meritage Corporation and M.D.C. Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Meritage Corporation 2 8 1 0 1.91
M.D.C. Holdings 2 4 0 0 1.67

Meritage Corporation currently has a consensus price target of $39.06, indicating a potential downside of 4.02%. M.D.C. Holdings has a consensus price target of $28.00, indicating a potential downside of 19.35%. Given Meritage Corporation’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Meritage Corporation is more favorable than M.D.C. Holdings.

Profitability

This table compares Meritage Corporation and M.D.C. Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Meritage Corporation 4.90% 10.94% 5.30%
M.D.C. Holdings 4.63% 8.88% 4.65%

Summary

Meritage Corporation beats M.D.C. Holdings on 11 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Meritage Corporation Company Profile

Meritage Homes Corporation operates as a holding company. The Company is a designer and builder of single-family homes. The Company operates through two segments: homebuilding and financial services. The homebuilding segment is engaged in the business of acquiring and developing land, constructing homes, marketing and selling those homes, and providing warranty and customer services. It builds homes in the regions of the United States and offers a range of homes that are designed for a range of homebuyers, including first-time, move-up, active adult and luxury. As of December 31, 2016, it had homebuilding operations in three regions: West, Central and East, which were consisted of nine states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It also operates Carefree Title Agency, Inc. (Carefree Title) company. Carefree Title’s core business includes title insurance and closing/settlement services it offers to its homebuyers.

M.D.C. Holdings Company Profile

M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. is engaged in two primary operations, including homebuilding and financial services. The Company’s segments include West, including segments located in Arizona, California, Nevada and Washington; Mountain, including segments located in Colorado and Utah; East, including segments located in Virginia, Florida and Maryland, which includes Pennsylvania and New Jersey; mortgage operations, including HomeAmerican Mortgage Corporation, and Other, which includes Allegiant Insurance Company, Inc., StarAmerican Insurance Ltd., American Home Insurance Agency, Inc. and American Home Title and Escrow Company. The homebuilding operations consist of subsidiary companies that purchases finished lots or develop lots necessary for the construction and sale of single-family detached homes to first-time and first-time move-up homebuyers under the name Richmond American Homes. It also includes land acquisition and development, home construction, and sales and marketing.

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