Saul Centers (BFS) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has $57.00 price target on the real estate investment trust’s stock.

According to Zacks, “SAUL CENTERS, INC. is a real estate investment trust which is engaged in the management and development of the shopping center business of the Saul Organization. “

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Saul Centers from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. B. Riley upped their price target on shares of Saul Centers from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $56.67.

Shares of Saul Centers stock traded down $0.47 on Wednesday, reaching $50.37. 37,337 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 35,270. Saul Centers has a one year low of $46.71 and a one year high of $65.32. The company has a current ratio of 2.04, a quick ratio of 2.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.28. The company has a market cap of $1.14 billion, a PE ratio of 15.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.25 and a beta of 0.82.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 31st. Investors of record on Wednesday, October 17th were paid a $0.52 dividend. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.13%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, October 16th. Saul Centers’s payout ratio is 65.41%.

In related news, VP Steven N. Corey sold 3,750 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.26, for a total value of $222,225.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 3,750 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $222,225. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Philip D. Caraci sold 1,100 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $63,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 14,584 shares of company stock valued at $863,999. 48.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of BFS. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Saul Centers by 7.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,048,528 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $109,759,000 after purchasing an additional 139,348 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its stake in Saul Centers by 85.2% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 302,729 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $16,953,000 after purchasing an additional 139,285 shares during the last quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. bought a new position in Saul Centers in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $2,189,000. Millennium Management LLC lifted its stake in Saul Centers by 92.5% in the 1st quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 72,945 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $3,718,000 after purchasing an additional 35,060 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Saul Centers in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $1,072,000. 45.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Saul Centers

Saul Centers, Inc is a self-managed, self-administered equity REIT headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, which currently operates and manages a real estate portfolio of 59 properties which includes (a) 49 community and neighborhood shopping centers and six mixed-use properties with approximately 9.2 million square feet of leasable area and (b) four land and development properties.

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