Uniti Group (NASDAQ:UNIT) and Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, risk, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, earnings, profitability and dividends.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

71.3% of Uniti Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 92.4% of Hersha Hospitality Trust shares are held by institutional investors. 0.4% of Uniti Group shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 10.3% of Hersha Hospitality Trust shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Uniti Group and Hersha Hospitality Trust, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Uniti Group 1 2 2 0 2.20
Hersha Hospitality Trust 1 6 2 0 2.11

Uniti Group presently has a consensus price target of $25.80, suggesting a potential upside of 35.72%. Hersha Hospitality Trust has a consensus price target of $20.50, suggesting a potential upside of 2.71%. Given Uniti Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts plainly believe Uniti Group is more favorable than Hersha Hospitality Trust.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Uniti Group and Hersha Hospitality Trust’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Uniti Group $916.03 million 3.65 -$9.43 million $2.51 7.57
Hersha Hospitality Trust $498.24 million 1.58 $99.86 million $2.16 9.24

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

Volatility & Risk

Uniti Group has a beta of 0.77, indicating that its share price is 23% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Hersha Hospitality Trust has a beta of 1.29, indicating that its share price is 29% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Uniti Group pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 12.6%. Hersha Hospitality Trust pays an annual dividend of $1.12 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.6%. Uniti Group pays out 95.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Hersha Hospitality Trust pays out 51.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Uniti Group and Hersha Hospitality Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Uniti Group 1.83% -1.45% 0.41%
Hersha Hospitality Trust -2.74% -0.58% -0.25%

Summary

Uniti Group beats Hersha Hospitality Trust on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Uniti Group

Uniti, an internally managed real estate investment trust, is engaged in the acquisition and construction of mission critical communications infrastructure, and is a leading provider of wireless infrastructure solutions for the communications industry. As of June 30, 2018, Uniti owns 5.4 million fiber strand miles, approximately 770 wireless towers, and other communications real estate throughout the United States and Latin America.

About Hersha Hospitality Trust

Hersha Hospitality Trust (HT) is a self-advised real estate investment trust in the hospitality sector, which owns and operates high quality upscale hotels in urban gateway markets and coastal destinations. The Company's 49 hotels totaling 7,666 rooms are located in New York, Washington, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, South Florida and select markets on the West Coast. The Company's common shares are traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ?HT.?

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