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

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Uniti Group and OUTFRONT Media, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Uniti Group 0 3 6 0 2.67
OUTFRONT Media 0 2 4 0 2.67

Uniti Group presently has a consensus target price of $27.14, suggesting a potential upside of 65.81%. OUTFRONT Media has a consensus target price of $30.17, suggesting a potential upside of 28.42%. Given Uniti Group’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Uniti Group is more favorable than OUTFRONT Media.

Profitability

This table compares Uniti Group and OUTFRONT Media’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Uniti Group -4.32% N/A -1.01%
OUTFRONT Media 7.71% 9.57% 3.12%

Dividends

Uniti Group pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 14.7%. OUTFRONT Media pays an annual dividend of $1.44 per share and has a dividend yield of 6.1%. Uniti Group pays out -774.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. 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. Uniti Group is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Uniti Group and OUTFRONT Media’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Uniti Group $770.41 million 3.73 -$210,000.00 ($0.31) -52.81
OUTFRONT Media $1.51 billion 2.15 $90.90 million $0.84 27.96

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

Institutional and Insider Ownership

69.6% of Uniti Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.4% of Uniti Group shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of OUTFRONT Media shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk and Volatility

Uniti Group has a beta of 1.18, meaning that its share price is 18% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, OUTFRONT Media has a beta of 1.14, meaning that its share price is 14% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

OUTFRONT Media beats Uniti Group on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Uniti Group Company Profile

Uniti Group Inc., formerly Communications Sales & Leasing, Inc., is an internally managed real estate investment trust engaged in the acquisition and construction of infrastructure in the communications industry. The Company focuses on acquiring and constructing fiber optic broadband networks, wireless communications towers, copper and coaxial broadband networks and data centers. It operates in four segments: Leasing, Fiber Infrastructure, Towers and Consumer Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (Consumer CLEC). The Leasing segment includes Uniti Leasing. The Fiber Infrastructure segment includes Uniti Fiber business. The Towers segment includes Uniti Towers and its ground lease investments. The Consumer CLEC segment includes Talk America. As of July 3, 2017, the Company and its subsidiaries owned approximately 88,100 fiber network route miles, representing approximately 4.8 million fiber strand miles and approximately 231,900 route miles of copper cable lines across 32 states.

OUTFRONT Media Company Profile

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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