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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Friday. They currently have $59.00 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. “

Separately, ValuEngine lowered shares of Saul Centers from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, October 4th.

Saul Centers stock opened at $52.97 on Friday. Saul Centers has a fifty-two week low of $46.71 and a fifty-two week high of $64.93. The stock has a market cap of $1.20 billion, a PE ratio of 16.66, a PEG ratio of 3.39 and a beta of 0.84. 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 business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 31st. Investors of record on Thursday, January 17th will be paid a $0.53 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 16th. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.00%. This is a positive change from Saul Centers’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.52. Saul Centers’s dividend payout ratio is 65.41%.

In related news, Director John E. Chapoton sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.04, for a total value of $500,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Scott V. Schneider sold 805 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.04, for a total transaction of $43,502.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 9,398 shares in the company, valued at approximately $507,867.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 48.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BFS. BlackRock Inc. grew 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 buying an additional 139,348 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its holdings 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 period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Saul Centers by 2.8% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,947,761 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $109,075,000 after purchasing an additional 53,115 shares during the period. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in Saul Centers in the 2nd quarter valued at about $2,189,000. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its holdings in Saul Centers by 7.8% in the 3rd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 403,700 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $22,607,000 after purchasing an additional 29,100 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 46.19% of the company’s stock.

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 60 properties which includes (a) 49 community and neighborhood shopping centers and seven mixed-use properties with approximately 9.3 million square feet of leasable area and (b) four land and development properties.

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