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 report released on Wednesday. The firm 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. “

BFS has been the subject of several other reports. ValuEngine cut shares of Saul Centers from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. B. Riley increased their price objective on shares of Saul Centers from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $56.67.

Shares of BFS traded down $0.47 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $50.37. 37,337 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 35,270. Saul Centers has a fifty-two week low of $46.71 and a fifty-two week high of $65.32. The company has a quick ratio of 2.04, a current ratio of 2.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.28. The stock 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 declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 31st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, October 17th were issued a $0.52 dividend. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.13%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, October 16th. Saul Centers’s payout ratio is 65.41%.

In other Saul Centers news, VP Steven N. Corey sold 3,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the vice president now directly owns 3,750 shares in the company, valued at $222,225. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Scott V. Schneider sold 1,433 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.67, for a total transaction of $85,507.11. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 9,398 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $560,778.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 14,584 shares of company stock valued at $863,999 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 48.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of BFS. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Saul Centers by 7.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,048,528 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $109,759,000 after purchasing an additional 139,348 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its holdings in Saul Centers by 85.2% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 302,729 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $16,953,000 after purchasing an additional 139,285 shares during the period. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in Saul Centers in the second quarter worth $2,189,000. Millennium Management LLC grew its holdings in Saul Centers by 92.5% in the first quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 72,945 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $3,718,000 after purchasing an additional 35,060 shares during the period. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Saul Centers in the second quarter worth $1,072,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.41% 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 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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