Saul Centers, Inc. (NYSE:BFS) has received a consensus broker rating score of 2.33 (Buy) from the three brokers that provide coverage for the company, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and one has assigned a strong buy recommendation to the company.

Brokers have set a 12 month consensus price objective of $69.50 for the company and are anticipating that the company will post $0.79 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Saul Centers an industry rank of 201 out of 265 based on the ratings given to related companies.

Several research firms have commented on BFS. BidaskClub raised shares of Saul Centers from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Saul Centers from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday.

Saul Centers (NYSE BFS) traded up 1.91% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $59.86. 19,847 shares of the company were exchanged. Saul Centers has a 12-month low of $55.86 and a 12-month high of $68.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.57 and a beta of 0.73. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $58.35 and its 200-day moving average price is $62.29.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 31st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.51 per share. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 13th. Saul Centers’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 131.61%.

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In other news, insider Scott V. Schneider sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.12, for a total transaction of $300,600.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 4,500 shares in the company, valued at $270,540. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 15,000 shares of company stock worth $885,800. Insiders own 48.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 2.1% in the first quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 4,800 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $296,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 144,277 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $9,610,000 after buying an additional 374 shares in the last quarter. AXA boosted its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 48.7% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 187,009 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $11,523,000 after buying an additional 61,256 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 4.8% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 422,587 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $28,145,000 after buying an additional 19,311 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 2.9% in the first quarter. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 17,675 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $1,089,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 46.56% of the company’s stock.

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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