Head to Head Contrast: National Health Investors (NYSE:NHI) versus Life Storage (NYSE:LSI)

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National Health Investors (NYSE:NHI) and Life Storage (NYSE:LSI) are both mid-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, risk, dividends, institutional ownership, profitability and analyst recommendations.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares National Health Investors and Life Storage’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
National Health Investors $294.61 million 12.08 $154.33 million $5.48 14.98
Life Storage $550.85 million 8.61 $206.59 million $5.51 18.45

Life Storage has higher revenue and earnings than National Health Investors. National Health Investors is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Life Storage, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

70.1% of National Health Investors shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.9% of Life Storage shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.1% of National Health Investors shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.8% of Life Storage shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current recommendations and price targets for National Health Investors and Life Storage, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
National Health Investors 2 3 0 0 1.60
Life Storage 1 3 2 0 2.17

National Health Investors currently has a consensus target price of $77.00, suggesting a potential downside of 6.21%. Life Storage has a consensus target price of $100.17, suggesting a potential downside of 1.45%. Given Life Storage’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Life Storage is more favorable than National Health Investors.

Dividends

National Health Investors pays an annual dividend of $4.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.1%. Life Storage pays an annual dividend of $4.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.9%. National Health Investors pays out 76.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Life Storage pays out 72.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. National Health Investors has increased its dividend for 9 consecutive years and Life Storage has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years. National Health Investors is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Profitability

This table compares National Health Investors and Life Storage’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
National Health Investors 50.71% 11.06% 5.60%
Life Storage 37.17% 10.21% 5.28%

Risk and Volatility

National Health Investors has a beta of 0.37, meaning that its stock price is 63% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Life Storage has a beta of 0.37, meaning that its stock price is 63% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Life Storage beats National Health Investors on 9 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About National Health Investors

Incorporated in 1991, National Health Investors, Inc. (NYSE: NHI) is a real estate investment trust specializing in sale-leaseback, joint-venture, mortgage and mezzanine financing of need-driven and discretionary senior housing and medical investments. NHI's portfolio consists of independent, assisted and memory care communities, entrance-fee retirement communities, skilled nursing facilities, medical office buildings and specialty hospitals.

About Life Storage

Life Storage, Inc. is a self-administered and self-managed equity REIT that is in the business of acquiring and managing self storage facilities. Located in Buffalo, New York, the Company operates more than 750 storage facilities in 28 states and Ontario, Canada. The Company serves both residential and commercial storage customers with storage units rented by month. Life Storage consistently provides responsive service to its 400,000-plus customers, making it a leader in the industry.

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