iStar Financial (NYSE: STAR) and CIM Commercial Trust Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCT) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, valuation, analyst recommendations, profitability, earnings and risk.

Profitability

This table compares iStar Financial and CIM Commercial Trust Corporation’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
iStar Financial 24.13% 19.57% 3.97%
CIM Commercial Trust Corporation 143.13% 40.88% 19.12%

Dividends

CIM Commercial Trust Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. iStar Financial does not pay a dividend.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares iStar Financial and CIM Commercial Trust Corporation’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
iStar Financial $477.03 million 1.62 $95.30 million $0.91 12.42
CIM Commercial Trust Corporation $265.93 million 3.93 $34.54 million N/A N/A

iStar Financial has higher revenue and earnings than CIM Commercial Trust Corporation.

Volatility and Risk

iStar Financial has a beta of 1.3, indicating that its stock price is 30% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, CIM Commercial Trust Corporation has a beta of 0.12, indicating that its stock price is 88% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for iStar Financial and CIM Commercial Trust Corporation, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
iStar Financial 0 2 0 0 2.00
CIM Commercial Trust Corporation 0 0 0 0 N/A

iStar Financial presently has a consensus price target of $14.00, indicating a potential upside of 23.89%. Given iStar Financial’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe iStar Financial is more favorable than CIM Commercial Trust Corporation.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

86.1% of iStar Financial shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.7% of CIM Commercial Trust Corporation shares are owned by institutional investors. 4.4% of iStar Financial shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 98.1% of CIM Commercial Trust Corporation shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

CIM Commercial Trust Corporation beats iStar Financial on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About iStar Financial

iStar Inc. finances, invests in and develops real estate and real estate related projects as part of its integrated investment platform. The Company’s four business segments are Real Estate Finance, Net Lease, Operating Properties, and Land and Development. The Real Estate Finance portfolio consists of senior and mezzanine real estate loans that may be either fixed-rate or variable-rate. The Net Lease portfolio consists of properties owned by the Company and leased to single tenants, where the properties are subject to long-term leases. The Operating Properties portfolio consists of commercial and residential properties, which represent a pool of assets across a range of geographies and property types. The Land and Development portfolio consists of land entitled for master planned communities, as well as waterfront and urban infill land parcels located throughout the United States. Its Land and Development projects include Great Oaks, Sage Scottsdale, Naples Reserve and Coney Island.

About CIM Commercial Trust Corporation

CIM Commercial Trust Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, primarily invests in, owns, and operates Class A and office investments in urban communities throughout the United States. These communities are located in areas that include traditional downtown areas and suburban main streets. The Company’s segments are office, hotel, multifamily and lending. The products for its office segment primarily include rental of office space and other tenant services, including tenant reimbursements, parking, and storage space rental. The products for its multifamily segment include rental of apartments and other tenant services. The products for its hotel segment include revenues generated from the operations of hotel properties and rental income generated from a garage located directly across the street from one of the hotels. The Company is managed by affiliates of CIM Group, L.P. (CIM), a vertically integrated, full-service investment manager.

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