American Assets Trust (NYSE: SUI) and Sun Communities (NYSE:SUI) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, risk, valuation, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and profitability.

Dividends

American Assets Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.08 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. Sun Communities pays an annual dividend of $2.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.8%. American Assets Trust pays out 56.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Sun Communities pays out 68.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. American Assets Trust is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for American Assets Trust and Sun Communities, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
American Assets Trust 1 0 3 0 2.50
Sun Communities 0 2 4 0 2.67

American Assets Trust currently has a consensus price target of $40.75, suggesting a potential upside of 6.45%. Sun Communities has a consensus price target of $100.83, suggesting a potential downside of 1.08%. Given American Assets Trust’s higher probable upside, equities research analysts clearly believe American Assets Trust is more favorable than Sun Communities.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

94.5% of American Assets Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 93.3% of Sun Communities shares are owned by institutional investors. 34.2% of American Assets Trust shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 3.7% of Sun Communities shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Profitability

This table compares American Assets Trust and Sun Communities’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
American Assets Trust 5.70% 2.25% 0.84%
Sun Communities 8.91% 3.44% 1.49%

Risk and Volatility

American Assets Trust has a beta of 0.32, meaning that its share price is 68% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Sun Communities has a beta of 0.06, meaning that its share price is 94% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares American Assets Trust and Sun Communities’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
American Assets Trust $314.98 million 5.74 $40.13 million $1.92 19.94
Sun Communities $982.57 million 8.43 $81.81 million $4.17 24.44

Sun Communities has higher revenue and earnings than American Assets Trust. American Assets Trust is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sun Communities, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Sun Communities beats American Assets Trust on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About American Assets Trust

American Assets Trust, Inc. (the ?company?) is a full service, vertically integrated and self-administered real estate investment trust, or REIT, headquartered in San Diego, California. The company has over 50 years of experience in acquiring, improving, developing and managing premier retail, office and residential properties throughout the United States in some of the nation's most dynamic, high-barrier-to-entry markets primarily in Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Hawaii. The company's retail portfolio comprises approximately 3.2 million rentable square feet, and its office portfolio comprises approximately 2.6 million square feet. In addition, the company owns one mixed-use property (including approximately 97,000 rentable square feet of retail space and a 369-room all-suite hotel) and 2,112 multifamily units. In 2011, the company was formed to succeed to the real estate business of American Assets, Inc., a privately held corporation founded in 1967 and, as such, has significant experience, long-standing relationships and extensive knowledge of its core markets, submarkets and asset classes.

About Sun Communities

Sun Communities, Inc. is a REIT that, as of June 30, 2018, owned, operated, or had an interest in a portfolio of 367 communities comprising approximately 126,000 developed sites in 31 states and Ontario, Canada. For more information about Sun Communities, Inc., please visit www.suncommunities.com.

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