Better buy? Westfield Corp Ltd vs Scentre Group

Westfield is one of the most recognisable shopping centre names in several countries. But it’s not one business, it’s actually two.

One is called Scentre Group (ASX:SCG) which owns all of the Westfield centres in Australia and New Zealand, a total of 40.

The other is called Westfield Corp Ltd (ASX: WFD) which owns all of the international Westfield centres in the USA, the UK and other countries. Westfield Corp has a total of 35 centres.

Scentre Group’s market capitalisation of $23 billion is substantially larger than Westfield Corp’s at $18 billion.

The Westfield brand has done well to stand out from most other shopping centres by offering an experience that shoppers enjoy. Both the domestic and international businesses could keep growing with their high quality tenants, good amenities and prime locations.

But which Westfield shares should you go shopping for?


Scentre Group is trading with a dividend yield of 4.93%, whereas Westfield Corp has a dividend yield of 3.87%.

But the dividend payout ratio should also be considered here, Scentre Group paid out 92% of its funds from operations in its latest results and Westfield Corp paid out 76%. Westfield Corp is keeping more of its profits to re-invest back into its business, which should create better growth over the long run.


Both stocks are trading cheaply from a price/earnings ratio standpoint. Westfield Corp looks like the better bargain using this valuation method.


Both of these shopping centre businesses are expected to grow over the next financial year. Scentre Group is forecast to grow earnings per share by 6.6% by 30 December 2017 and Westfield Corp is forecast to grow earnings per share by 6.8% by 30 December 2017.

The long-term success of shopping centres will be determined by how well they deal with the growth of internet shopping. There are several shopping malls across the USA that have been abandoned because they weren’t getting enough people through the doors.

Scentre Group’s centres are some of the highest quality shopping centres in Australia, along with Vicinity Centres Re Ltd’s (ASX: VCX) Chadstone shopping centre.

If Westfield can continue to make shopping at its centres a good shopping experience then it will continue succeeding. Perhaps shops of the future will be showrooms, like Apple stores, for customers to try out products but not necessarily buy there.

Foolish takeaway

Out of the two, I think Westfield Corp looks like the better buy because it’s trading cheaper and is paying out less of its profits, hopefully resulting in its business growing quicker.

Although in my opinion there are better retail related stocks out there like Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) and Greencross Limited (ASX: GXL). Both offer more growth at the current prices.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of Greencross Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Retail Food Group Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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