Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. They currently have $59.00 price objective 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 topic of a number of other research reports. ValuEngine cut Saul Centers from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, July 16th. B. Riley lifted their target price on Saul Centers from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $57.33.

BFS opened at $51.22 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.27, a quick ratio of 1.96 and a current ratio of 1.96. Saul Centers has a one year low of $46.71 and a one year high of $65.43. The stock has a market cap of $1.26 billion, a PE ratio of 16.26, a PEG ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.68.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 31st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 17th will be given a dividend of $0.52 per share. This represents a $2.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 16th. Saul Centers’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 65.41%.

In related news, insider Scott V. Schneider sold 1,433 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.67, for a total value of $85,507.11. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 9,398 shares in the company, valued at approximately $560,778.66. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Debra Noreen Stencel sold 501 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.65, for a total value of $29,884.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 501 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,884.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 14,584 shares of company stock worth $863,999 in the last quarter. Insiders own 49.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in Saul Centers by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 196,921 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $10,551,000 after acquiring an additional 1,097 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in Saul Centers by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 58,546 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $3,138,000 after acquiring an additional 1,565 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in Saul Centers by 5.1% in the 2nd quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 32,336 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,733,000 after acquiring an additional 1,572 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in Saul Centers by 145.1% in the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,125 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $167,000 after acquiring an additional 1,850 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its position in Saul Centers by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 225,461 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $12,080,000 after acquiring an additional 2,123 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 45.28% of the company’s stock.

Saul Centers Company Profile

Saul Centers, Inc operates as a real estate investment trust. Its business activity includes ownership, management and development of income producing properties. The company operates through two segments: Shopping Centers and Mixed-Use Properties. The Shopping Centers segment consists of community and neighborhood shopping centers which are anchored by supermarkets, discount department stores and drug stores.

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