Lyon William Homes (NYSE: WLH) and Comstock Holding Companies (NASDAQ:CHCI) are both small-cap construction companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent recommendations for Lyon William Homes and Comstock Holding Companies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Lyon William Homes 0 2 1 0 2.33
Comstock Holding Companies 0 0 0 0 N/A

Lyon William Homes presently has a consensus price target of $23.75, indicating a potential upside of 1.28%. Given Lyon William Homes’ higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Lyon William Homes is more favorable than Comstock Holding Companies.

Profitability

This table compares Lyon William Homes and Comstock Holding Companies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Lyon William Homes 3.01% 7.72% 2.89%
Comstock Holding Companies -13.37% -92.61% -7.17%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

9.9% of Comstock Holding Companies shares are owned by institutional investors. 21.3% of Lyon William Homes shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 46.4% of Comstock Holding Companies shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Lyon William Homes and Comstock Holding Companies’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Lyon William Homes $1.50 billion 0.50 $95.94 million $1.16 20.22
Comstock Holding Companies $42.68 million 0.15 -$3.18 million ($1.47) -1.33

Lyon William Homes has higher revenue and earnings than Comstock Holding Companies. Comstock Holding Companies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Lyon William Homes, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Lyon William Homes has a beta of 1.75, suggesting that its stock price is 75% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Comstock Holding Companies has a beta of -0.31, suggesting that its stock price is 131% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Lyon William Homes beats Comstock Holding Companies on 10 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

Lyon William Homes Company Profile

William Lyon Homes is primarily engaged in the design, construction and sale of single family detached and attached homes in California, Arizona and Nevada. The Company conducts its homebuilding operations through four reportable operating segments: Southern California, Northern California, Arizona and Nevada. For the three months ended March 31, 2012, 37% of home closings were derived from the Company’s California operations. The Company designs, constructs and sells a range of homes designed to meet the needs of each of its markets, although it primarily focuses sales to the entry-level and first time move-up home buyer markets. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company marketed its homes through 19 sales locations. In October 2013, the Company purchase 221 homesites at the master-planned Southshore community in Aurora, Colorado.

Comstock Holding Companies Company Profile

Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. (Comstock ), formerly Comstock Homebuilding Companies, Inc. is a diversified real estate development and services company focused on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Company builds a range of products including apartments, single-family homes, townhouses, mid-rise condominiums, high-rise multi-family condominiums and mixed-use (residential and commercial) developments. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had built and delivered more than 5,300 homes. The Company has built homes and apartment buildings in suburban communities, where it focuses on low density products. The Company’s apartment buildings are developed as rental properties to be held and operated for its own purposes, converted at some point to for-sale condominium units or sold on a merchant build basis. In March 7, 2012, Cascades II completed the sale of its Potomac Square Apartment project to an affiliate of CAPREIT Acquisition Corporation.

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