Saratoga Investment (SAR) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Saratoga Investment Corporation, formerly known as GSC Investment Corp., is a specialty finance company that invests primarily in leveraged loans and mezzanine debt issued by U.S. middle-market companies, both through direct lending and through participation in loan syndicates. The Company has been elected to be treated as a business development company. “

Several other brokerages also recently commented on SAR. National Securities reiterated a neutral rating and set a $24.00 target price on shares of Saratoga Investment in a report on Thursday, August 23rd. LADENBURG THALM/SH SH downgraded Saratoga Investment from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, July 16th. ValuEngine upgraded Saratoga Investment from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, June 26th. Finally, Compass Point upgraded Saratoga Investment from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 16th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Saratoga Investment currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $24.13.

Shares of NYSE:SAR opened at $23.26 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $172.04 million, a P/E ratio of 10.25 and a beta of 0.12. Saratoga Investment has a one year low of $19.62 and a one year high of $28.30.

Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 11th. The financial services provider reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.54 by ($0.09). The company had revenue of $11.40 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $10.18 million. Saratoga Investment had a net margin of 50.76% and a return on equity of 10.52%. As a group, research analysts predict that Saratoga Investment will post 2.28 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 27th. Shareholders of record on Monday, September 17th were issued a dividend of $0.52 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, September 14th. This is an increase from Saratoga Investment’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. This represents a $2.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 8.94%. Saratoga Investment’s payout ratio is currently 91.63%.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Ahrens Investment Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Saratoga Investment during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $230,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its holdings in Saratoga Investment by 29.1% during the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 16,527 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $344,000 after purchasing an additional 3,725 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its holdings in Saratoga Investment by 21.8% during the 1st quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 21,539 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $450,000 after purchasing an additional 3,862 shares during the last quarter. Weber Alan W purchased a new stake in Saratoga Investment during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $479,000. Finally, Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware increased its holdings in Saratoga Investment by 9.8% during the 2nd quarter. Mckinley Capital Management LLC Delaware now owns 34,711 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $961,000 after purchasing an additional 3,086 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 14.34% of the company’s stock.

About Saratoga Investment

Saratoga Investment Corp. is a business development company specializing in leveraged and management buyouts, acquisition financings, growth financings, recapitalization, debt refinancing, and transitional financing transactions at the lower end of middle market companies. It structures its investments as debt and equity by investing through first and second lien loans, mezzanine debt, co-investments, select high yield bonds, senior secured bonds, unsecured bonds, and preferred and common equity.

Read More: Return on Equity (ROE)

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