QTS Realty Trust (NYSE: QTS) and OUTFRONT Media (NYSE:OUT) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, earnings, dividends and valuation.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

98.8% of OUTFRONT Media shares are held by institutional investors. 17.3% of QTS Realty Trust shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of OUTFRONT Media shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares QTS Realty Trust and OUTFRONT Media’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
QTS Realty Trust $402.36 million 7.14 $21.52 million $0.41 139.22
OUTFRONT Media $1.51 billion 2.24 $90.90 million $0.84 29.16

OUTFRONT Media has higher revenue and earnings than QTS Realty Trust. OUTFRONT Media is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than QTS Realty Trust, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares QTS Realty Trust and OUTFRONT Media’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
QTS Realty Trust 4.67% 2.10% 0.93%
OUTFRONT Media 7.71% 9.57% 3.12%

Volatility & Risk

QTS Realty Trust has a beta of 0.48, indicating that its share price is 52% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, OUTFRONT Media has a beta of 1.15, indicating that its share price is 15% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and recommmendations for QTS Realty Trust and OUTFRONT Media, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
QTS Realty Trust 0 4 9 0 2.69
OUTFRONT Media 0 2 4 0 2.67

QTS Realty Trust currently has a consensus price target of $58.08, suggesting a potential upside of 1.75%. OUTFRONT Media has a consensus price target of $30.17, suggesting a potential upside of 23.18%. Given OUTFRONT Media’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe OUTFRONT Media is more favorable than QTS Realty Trust.

Dividends

QTS Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.56 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. OUTFRONT Media pays an annual dividend of $1.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.9%. QTS Realty Trust pays out 380.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. OUTFRONT Media pays out 171.4% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. QTS Realty Trust has raised its dividend for 2 consecutive years. OUTFRONT Media is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Summary

OUTFRONT Media beats QTS Realty Trust on 11 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About QTS Realty Trust

QTS Realty Trust, Inc. (QTS) is a provider of secure, compliant data center solutions, hybrid cloud and fully managed services. The Company owns, develops and operates carrier-neutral and multi-tenant data centers. Its data centers are facilities that house the network and computer equipment of multiple customers and provide access to a range of communications carriers. The Company has an integrated platform through which it owns and operates its data centers and provides a range of information technology (IT) infrastructure solutions. Its spectrum of core data center products is referred to as 3Cs, which consists of Custom Data Center (C1), Colocation (C2), and Cloud and Managed Services (C3). Its 3C integrated technology platform provides information technology solutions for Web and information technology applications. Its data centers facilities are used by its customers to house, power and cool the networking equipment and computer systems that support their business processes.

About OUTFRONT Media

OUTFRONT Media Inc. is a real estate investment trust (REIT), which provides advertising space (displays) on out-of-home advertising structures and sites in the United States and Canada. The Company’s segments are U.S. Media and Other. The U.S. Media segment includes U.S. Billboard and Transit. The Other segment includes International and Sports Marketing. The Company’s inventory consists of billboard displays, which are primarily located on the heavily traveled highways and roadways in Nielsen Designated Market Areas (DMAs), and transit advertising displays operated under multi-year contracts with municipalities in cities across the United States and Canada. The Company also has marketing and multimedia rights agreements with colleges, universities and other educational institutions, which entitle the Company to operate on-campus advertising displays, as well as manage marketing opportunities, media rights and experiential entertainment at sports events.

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