SBA Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: SBAC) and Crown Castle International Corporation (NYSE:CCI) are both large-cap computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, analyst recommendations, valuation, risk, earnings and profitability.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and recommmendations for SBA Communications Corporation and Crown Castle International Corporation, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
SBA Communications Corporation 0 4 10 0 2.71
Crown Castle International Corporation 0 4 7 0 2.64

SBA Communications Corporation presently has a consensus target price of $144.58, indicating a potential upside of 0.30%. Crown Castle International Corporation has a consensus target price of $105.61, indicating a potential upside of 3.95%. Given Crown Castle International Corporation’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Crown Castle International Corporation is more favorable than SBA Communications Corporation.

Profitability

This table compares SBA Communications Corporation and Crown Castle International Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
SBA Communications Corporation 2.19% -2.64% 0.67%
Crown Castle International Corporation 11.14% 6.21% 1.95%

Volatility and Risk

SBA Communications Corporation has a beta of 0.71, meaning that its share price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Crown Castle International Corporation has a beta of 0.18, meaning that its share price is 82% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares SBA Communications Corporation and Crown Castle International Corporation’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
SBA Communications Corporation $1.68 billion 10.33 $1.10 billion $0.31 465.03
Crown Castle International Corporation $4.08 billion 10.12 $2.17 billion $1.25 81.28

Crown Castle International Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than SBA Communications Corporation. Crown Castle International Corporation is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than SBA Communications Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Crown Castle International Corporation pays an annual dividend of $3.80 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. SBA Communications Corporation does not pay a dividend. Crown Castle International Corporation pays out 304.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Crown Castle International Corporation has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

92.4% of SBA Communications Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 82.9% of Crown Castle International Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 2.1% of SBA Communications Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.4% of Crown Castle International Corporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Crown Castle International Corporation beats SBA Communications Corporation on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About SBA Communications Corporation

SBA Communications Corporation is an independent owner and operator of wireless communications tower structures, rooftops and other structures that support antennas used for wireless communications. The Company’s operating segments include site leasing and site development. The site leasing business includes segments, domestic site leasing and international site leasing. The Company’s primary business line is its site leasing business. In its site leasing business, the Company leases antenna space to wireless service providers on towers that it owns or operates, and manages rooftop and tower sites for property owners under various contractual arrangements. The Company owns approximately 25,460 towers. It also manages or leases approximately 5,500 actual or potential towers. The Company’s other business line is its site development business, through which it assists wireless service providers in developing and maintaining their own wireless service networks.

About Crown Castle International Corporation

Castle International Corp. (CCIC) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) company. The Company owns, operates and leases shared wireless infrastructure, including towers and other structures, such as rooftops (towers), and to a lesser extent, distributed antenna systems (DAS), a type of small cell network (small cells), and interests in land under third party towers in various forms (third party land interests). Its core business is renting space or physical capacity (collectively, space) on its towers, DAS and, to a lesser extent, third party land interests (collectively, site rental business) through long-term contracts in various forms, including license, sublease and lease agreements (collectively, contracts). The Company owned, leased or managed approximately 39,600 towers in the United States, including Puerto Rico, and approximately 1,700 towers in Australia.

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