Zacks: Saul Centers Inc (BFS) Receives Consensus Rating of “Buy” from Analysts

Shares of Saul Centers Inc (NYSE:BFS) have earned an average broker rating score of 2.33 (Buy) from the three brokers that cover the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company.

Analysts have set a 12 month consensus target price of $69.50 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.78 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also assigned Saul Centers an industry rank of 244 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

BFS has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Saul Centers from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 30th. Raymond James Financial reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Saul Centers in a research note on Monday, December 4th.

Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) opened at $51.83 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.62, a quick ratio of 2.68 and a current ratio of 2.68. Saul Centers has a 52 week low of $50.38 and a 52 week high of $66.14. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,135.30, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.46, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.15 and a beta of 0.60.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 17th were paid a dividend of $0.52 per share. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.01%. This is a boost from Saul Centers’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.51. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, January 16th. Saul Centers’s payout ratio is presently 127.61%.

In other news, insider James Page Lansdale sold 7,600 shares of Saul Centers stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.51, for a total transaction of $475,076.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders have sold a total of 20,999 shares of company stock worth $1,329,716 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 48.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 59.7% during the 3rd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 4,440 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $275,000 after purchasing an additional 1,660 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 2.1% during the 3rd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 224,013 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $13,868,000 after purchasing an additional 4,639 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 2.7% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,748,798 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $101,395,000 after purchasing an additional 45,574 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 190,117 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $11,024,000 after purchasing an additional 8,385 shares during the period. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 16.8% during the 2nd quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 12,500 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock worth $725,000 after purchasing an additional 1,799 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 45.40% of the company’s stock.

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About Saul Centers

Saul Centers, Inc operates as a real estate investment trust. The Company’s principal business activity is the ownership, management and development of income-producing properties. It operates through two segments: Shopping Centers and Mixed-Use Properties. The Company, which conducts all of its activities through its subsidiaries, the Saul Holdings Limited Partnership (Operating Partnership) and Subsidiary Partnerships, engages in the ownership, operation, management, leasing, acquisition, renovation, expansion, development and financing of community and neighborhood shopping centers and mixed-used properties in the Washington, District of Columbia/Baltimore metropolitan area.

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