Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) and DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH (NYSE:DLR) are both finance companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, analyst recommendations, earnings, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends and profitability.

Volatility and Risk

Cousins Properties has a beta of 0.99, suggesting that its share price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH has a beta of 0.47, suggesting that its share price is 53% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

99.5% of Cousins Properties shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Cousins Properties shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.5% of DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Cousins Properties and DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cousins Properties 22.88% 3.77% 2.43%
DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH 18.07% 5.79% 2.31%

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cousins Properties and DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cousins Properties $657.52 million 5.90 $150.42 million $2.94 8.98
DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH $3.21 billion 7.91 $579.76 million $6.65 18.26

DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH has higher revenue and earnings than Cousins Properties. Cousins Properties is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Cousins Properties pays an annual dividend of $1.16 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.4%. DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH pays an annual dividend of $4.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.7%. Cousins Properties pays out 39.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH pays out 67.4% 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. Cousins Properties has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years and DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH has raised its dividend for 15 consecutive years. Cousins Properties is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and price targets for Cousins Properties and DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cousins Properties 0 0 2 0 3.00
DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH 0 4 9 0 2.69

Cousins Properties presently has a consensus price target of $42.00, suggesting a potential upside of 59.09%. DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH has a consensus price target of $134.23, suggesting a potential upside of 10.54%. Given Cousins Properties’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe Cousins Properties is more favorable than DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH.

Summary

Cousins Properties beats DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cousins Properties

Cousins Properties is a fully integrated, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company, based in Atlanta, GA and acting through its operating partnership, Cousins Properties LP, primarily invests in Class A office towers located in high-growth Sun Belt markets. Founded in 1958, Cousins creates shareholder value through its extensive expertise in the development, acquisition, leasing and management of high-quality real estate assets. The Company has a comprehensive strategy in place based on a simple platform, trophy assets and opportunistic investments.

About DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH

Digital Realty supports the data center, colocation and interconnection strategies of more than 2,300 firms across its secure, network-rich portfolio of data centers located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Digital Realty's clients include domestic and international companies of all sizes, ranging from cloud and information technology services, communications and social networking to financial services, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, and consumer products.

Receive News & Ratings for Cousins Properties Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Cousins Properties and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.