Reviewing Independence Realty Trust (IRT) & Ashford Hospitality Trust (AHT)

Independence Realty Trust (NYSE:IRT) and Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE:AHT) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior business? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, earnings, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

83.4% of Independence Realty Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 73.1% of Ashford Hospitality Trust shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of Independence Realty Trust shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 18.2% of Ashford Hospitality Trust shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Independence Realty Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 7.2%. Ashford Hospitality Trust pays an annual dividend of $0.48 per share and has a dividend yield of 8.8%. Independence Realty Trust pays out 98.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Ashford Hospitality Trust pays out 35.0% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Ashford Hospitality 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 target prices for Independence Realty Trust and Ashford Hospitality Trust, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Independence Realty Trust 0 3 3 0 2.50
Ashford Hospitality Trust 0 1 3 0 2.75

Independence Realty Trust currently has a consensus target price of $10.55, indicating a potential upside of 5.61%. Ashford Hospitality Trust has a consensus target price of $8.00, indicating a potential upside of 46.79%. Given Ashford Hospitality Trust’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Ashford Hospitality Trust is more favorable than Independence Realty Trust.

Profitability

This table compares Independence Realty Trust and Ashford Hospitality Trust’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Independence Realty Trust 9.81% 2.83% 1.15%
Ashford Hospitality Trust -7.15% -18.33% -2.16%

Risk & Volatility

Independence Realty Trust has a beta of 0.82, indicating that its stock price is 18% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ashford Hospitality Trust has a beta of 1.36, indicating that its stock price is 36% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Independence Realty Trust and Ashford Hospitality Trust’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Independence Realty Trust $160.50 million 5.53 $30.20 million $0.73 13.68
Ashford Hospitality Trust $1.44 billion 0.38 -$67.00 million $1.37 3.98

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

Summary

Ashford Hospitality Trust beats Independence Realty Trust on 8 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Independence Realty Trust

Independence Realty Trust (NYSE: IRT) is a real estate investment trust that owns and operates 58 multifamily apartment properties, totaling 15,860 units, across non-gateway U.S. markets, including Atlanta, Louisville, Memphis, and Raleigh. IRT's investment strategy is focused on gaining scale within key amenity rich submarkets that offer good school districts, high-quality retail and major employment centers. IRT aims to provide stockholders attractive risk-adjusted returns through diligent portfolio management, strong operational performance, and a consistent return of capital through distributions and capital appreciation.

About Ashford Hospitality Trust

Ashford Hospitality Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on investing opportunistically in the hospitality industry in upper upscale, full-service hotels.

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