HFF (NYSE: HF) and Leju Holdings Limited (NYSE:LEJU) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, valuation, risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, dividends and profitabiliy.

Profitability

This table compares HFF and Leju Holdings Limited’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
HFF 15.51% 40.20% 8.06%
Leju Holdings Limited -5.24% -5.42% -3.82%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for HFF and Leju Holdings Limited, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
HFF 1 2 1 0 2.00
Leju Holdings Limited 1 0 0 0 1.00

HFF presently has a consensus target price of $28.00, indicating a potential downside of 26.34%. Leju Holdings Limited has a consensus target price of $2.10, indicating a potential upside of 28.05%. Given Leju Holdings Limited’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Leju Holdings Limited is more favorable than HFF.

Risk & Volatility

HFF has a beta of 1.21, indicating that its stock price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Leju Holdings Limited has a beta of 3, indicating that its stock price is 200% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.8% of HFF shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 4.7% of Leju Holdings Limited shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.7% of HFF shares are owned by 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.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares HFF and Leju Holdings Limited’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
HFF $545.35 million 2.69 $84.87 million $2.20 17.28
Leju Holdings Limited $514.83 million 0.43 -$36.21 million ($0.20) -8.20

HFF has higher revenue and earnings than Leju Holdings Limited. Leju Holdings Limited is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than HFF, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

HFF beats Leju Holdings Limited on 11 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

About HFF

HFF, Inc. is a holding company. The Company holds the partnership interests in Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. and HFF Securities L.P. (together, the Operating Partnerships), held through the subsidiary HFF Partnership Holdings, LLC, and all of the outstanding shares of Holliday GP Corp. (Holliday GP). The Company operates through the commercial real estate financial intermediary segment. It offers debt placement, investment sales, distressed debt and real estate owned advisory services, equity placement, investment banking and advisory services, loan sales and commercial loan servicing. Its fully-integrated national capital markets platform, coupled with its knowledge of the commercial real estate markets provides an range of capital markets services, including Debt placement; Investment sales; Distressed debt and real estate owned advisory services; Equity placement; Investment banking and advisory services; Loan sales; and Commercial loan servicing.

About Leju Holdings Limited

Leju Holdings Limited is an online to offline (O2O), real estate services provider in China. The Company offers real estate e-commerce, online advertising and online listing services through its online platform, which consists of local Websites covering over 260 cities and various mobile applications. The Company integrates its online platform with offline services to facilitate residential property transactions. In addition to its own Websites, the Company operates various real estate and home furnishing Websites of SINA Corporation (SINA). Its O2O services for new residential properties include selling discount coupons and facilitating online property viewing, physical property visits, marketing events and pre-sale customer support. It sells advertising primarily on the SINA new residential properties and home furnishing Websites, which are operated by the Company.

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