HFF (NYSE: HF) is one of 25 publicly-traded companies in the “Real Estate Services” industry, but how does it weigh in compared to its peers? We will compare HFF to related businesses based on the strength of its valuation, profitability, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk and earnings.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

87.1% of HFF shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 69.7% of shares of all “Real Estate Services” companies are owned by institutional investors. 5.7% of HFF shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 12.8% of shares of all “Real Estate Services” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares HFF and its peers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
HFF 15.51% 40.20% 8.06%
HFF Competitors 0.25% 11.11% 0.77%

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and target prices for HFF and its peers, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
HFF 1 2 1 0 2.00
HFF Competitors 123 409 650 18 2.47

HFF currently has a consensus target price of $28.00, suggesting a potential downside of 27.10%. As a group, “Real Estate Services” companies have a potential upside of 10.00%. Given HFF’s peers stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe HFF has less favorable growth aspects than its peers.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares HFF and its peers gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue EBITDA Price/Earnings Ratio
HFF $542.82 million N/A 17.46
HFF Competitors $1.67 billion $167.92 million 36.65

HFF’s peers have higher revenue and earnings than HFF. HFF is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its peers, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Volatility and Risk

HFF has a beta of 1.21, meaning that its stock price is 21% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, HFF’s peers have a beta of 1.60, meaning that their average stock price is 60% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

HFF peers beat HFF on 8 of the 12 factors compared.

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.

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