Analyzing Cole Real Estate Investments (COLE) and Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT)

Cole Real Estate Investments (NYSE: COLE) and Empire State Realty Trust (NYSE:ESRT) are both financials companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, institutional ownership, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings and profitability.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

82.5% of Empire State Realty Trust shares are held by institutional investors. 11.8% of Empire State Realty Trust shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Cole Real Estate Investments and Empire State Realty Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cole Real Estate Investments 0 0 0 0 N/A
Empire State Realty Trust 0 1 1 0 2.50

Empire State Realty Trust has a consensus price target of $22.33, indicating a potential upside of 17.54%.

Profitability

This table compares Cole Real Estate Investments and Empire State Realty Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cole Real Estate Investments N/A N/A N/A
Empire State Realty Trust 11.90% 3.98% 2.04%

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Cole Real Estate Investments and Empire State Realty Trust’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cole Real Estate Investments N/A N/A N/A $0.20 N/A
Empire State Realty Trust $678.00 million 4.45 $52.39 million $0.40 47.50

Empire State Realty Trust has higher revenue and earnings than Cole Real Estate Investments. Cole Real Estate Investments is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Empire State Realty Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Empire State Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.42 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.2%. Cole Real Estate Investments does not pay a dividend. Empire State Realty Trust pays out 105.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Empire State Realty Trust has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Summary

Empire State Realty Trust beats Cole Real Estate Investments on 10 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cole Real Estate Investments

Cole Real Estate Investments, Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company operates in two segments: Real Estate Investment (REI) and Private Capital Management (PCM). The Company’s REI segment is conducted through Cole REIT III Operating Partnership, LP (CCPT III OP). The Company’s PCM segment is conducted through Cole Capital Advisors, Inc. (CCA). Through its REI segment, the Company acquires and operates a diverse portfolio of core commercial real estate investments primarily consisting of necessity retail properties located throughout the United States, including United States protectorates. The Company’s PCM segment is responsible for managing the Managed REITs’ affairs on a day-to-day basis, identifying and making acquisitions and investments on the Managed REITs’ behalf. In February 2014, American Realty Capital Properties Inc purchased Cole Real Estate Investments, Inc.

About Empire State Realty Trust

Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. The Company owns, manages, operates, acquires and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, including the Empire State Building. The Company operates through two segments: Real Estate and Observatory. The Real Estate segment includes all activities related to the ownership, management, operation, acquisition, repositioning and disposition of its real estate assets. The Observatory segment operates the 86th and 102nd floor observatories at the Empire State Building. As of December 31, 2016, its portfolio consisted of 14 office properties and six standalone retail properties totaling approximately 10.1 million rentable square feet. The Company’s properties include One Grand Central Place, 1400 Broadway, 111 West 33rd Street, 250 West 57th Street, 1359 Broadway and 1333 Broadway.

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