Comparing Cousins Properties (CUZ) and Easterly Government Properties (NYSE:DEA)

Easterly Government Properties (NYSE: DEA) and Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, earnings, risk, dividends, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Volatility & Risk

Easterly Government Properties has a beta of 0.56, meaning that its share price is 44% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cousins Properties has a beta of 1.07, meaning that its share price is 7% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

91.9% of Easterly Government Properties shares are owned by institutional investors. 18.1% of Easterly Government Properties shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 1.1% of Cousins Properties shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Easterly Government Properties and Cousins Properties’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Easterly Government Properties $116.22 million 6.29 $60.40 million $0.10 197.72
Cousins Properties $404.83 million 9.42 $231.38 million $0.57 15.93

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

Dividends

Easterly Government Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.1%. Cousins Properties pays an annual dividend of $0.24 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.6%. Easterly Government Properties pays out 1,000.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Cousins Properties pays out 42.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Cousins Properties has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Easterly Government Properties and Cousins Properties’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Easterly Government Properties 3.40% 0.58% 0.36%
Cousins Properties 49.99% 9.37% 5.93%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current ratings for Easterly Government Properties and Cousins Properties, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Easterly Government Properties 0 1 2 0 2.67
Cousins Properties 0 0 2 0 3.00

Easterly Government Properties currently has a consensus target price of $21.83, suggesting a potential upside of 10.44%. Cousins Properties has a consensus target price of $10.25, suggesting a potential upside of 12.89%. Given Cousins Properties’ stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Cousins Properties is more favorable than Easterly Government Properties.

Summary

Cousins Properties beats Easterly Government Properties on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Easterly Government Properties

Easterly Government Properties, Inc. is an internally managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company focuses on the acquisition, development and management of Class A commercial properties that are leased to the United States Government agencies. The Company leases its properties to such agencies through the United States General Services Administration (GSA). The operations of the Company are carried on primarily through Easterly Government Properties, LP and the subsidiaries of the Operating Partnership. As of December 31, 2016, it had 43 operating properties in the United States, including 40 operating properties that are leased primarily to the United States Government tenant agencies and three operating properties that are entirely leased to private tenants, encompassing approximately 3.1 million square feet in the aggregate. In addition, the Company had one property under development encompassing approximately 0.1 million square feet as of December 31, 2016.

About Cousins Properties

Cousins Properties Incorporated is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust. The Company’s segments include Office, Mixed-Use, Other, Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix and Other. It develops, acquires, leases, manages and owns primarily Class A office properties and opportunistic mixed-use developments in Sunbelt markets with a focus on Georgia, Texas and North Carolina. It manages a 15.8 million-square-foot trophy office portfolio in the Sun Belt markets of Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Orlando, Tampa and Tempe. As of December 31, 2016, its portfolio of real estate assets consisted of interests in 16.2 million square feet of office space and 786,000 square feet of mixed-use space. The Company, through Cousins TRS Services LLC, owns and manages its own real estate portfolio and performs certain real estate related services for other parties. Its properties include Colorado Tower, 816 Congress, Promenade and Gateway Village.

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