Saul Centers (NYSE: BFS) and Brixmor Property Group (NYSE:BRX) are both finance companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, earnings, risk, dividends, profitability, institutional ownership and valuation.

Volatility and Risk

Saul Centers has a beta of 0.72, suggesting that its share price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Brixmor Property Group has a beta of 0.52, suggesting that its share price is 48% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Saul Centers pays an annual dividend of $2.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Brixmor Property Group pays an annual dividend of $1.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.8%. Saul Centers pays out 125.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Brixmor Property Group pays out 98.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Brixmor Property Group has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Brixmor Property Group is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and recommmendations for Saul Centers and Brixmor Property Group, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Saul Centers 0 1 1 0 2.50
Brixmor Property Group 0 7 3 0 2.30

Brixmor Property Group has a consensus price target of $21.94, suggesting a potential upside of 23.21%. Given Brixmor Property Group’s higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Brixmor Property Group is more favorable than Saul Centers.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Saul Centers and Brixmor Property Group’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Saul Centers $217.07 million 6.27 $45.27 million $1.63 38.11
Brixmor Property Group $1.28 billion 4.26 $275.62 million $1.06 16.80

Brixmor Property Group has higher revenue and earnings than Saul Centers. Brixmor Property Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Saul Centers, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Saul Centers and Brixmor Property Group’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Saul Centers 21.42% 23.93% 3.44%
Brixmor Property Group 25.14% 11.08% 3.48%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

45.5% of Saul Centers shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 98.6% of Brixmor Property Group shares are owned by institutional investors. 48.8% of Saul Centers shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 0.3% of Brixmor Property Group shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Brixmor Property Group beats Saul Centers on 10 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

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. As of December 31, 2016, it properties (the Current Portfolio Properties) consisted of 49 shopping center properties (the Shopping Centers), six mixed-use properties, which consists of office, retail and multi-family residential uses (the Mixed-Use Properties) and three (non-operating) development properties.

About Brixmor Property Group

Brixmor Property Group Inc. is an internally managed real estate investment trust. The Company conducts its operations primarily through Brixmor Operating Partnership LP and subsidiaries (collectively, the Operating Partnership). As of December 31, 2016, it owned interests in 512 shopping centers (the Portfolio) with approximately 86 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA), including 511 shopping centers and one shopping center held through an unconsolidated joint venture. With an average shopping center size of 167,982 square feet as of December 31, 2016, the Company’s portfolio consisted predominantly of community and neighborhood shopping centers. As of December 31, 2016, the Company’s properties were located in various states of the United States, such as Texas, Florida, California, New York, Illinois, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, Connecticut, Tennessee, Kentucky, Colorado, Arizona, Delaware, West Virginia, Vermont, Maine, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

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