Saul Centers (NYSE: BFS) and Urban Edge Properties (NYSE:UE) are both finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability, earnings and institutional ownership.

Volatility & Risk

Saul Centers has a beta of 0.72, suggesting that its stock price is 28% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Urban Edge Properties has a beta of 0.59, suggesting that its stock price is 41% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Saul Centers and Urban Edge Properties, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Saul Centers 0 1 1 0 2.50
Urban Edge Properties 1 0 0 0 1.00

Saul Centers currently has a consensus price target of $72.00, indicating a potential upside of 15.51%. Urban Edge Properties has a consensus price target of $25.00, indicating a potential downside of 0.16%. Given Saul Centers’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, research analysts plainly believe Saul Centers is more favorable than Urban Edge Properties.

Dividends

Saul Centers pays an annual dividend of $2.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Urban Edge Properties pays an annual dividend of $0.88 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.5%. Saul Centers pays out 129.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Urban Edge Properties pays out 87.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Urban Edge Properties has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Urban Edge Properties is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Saul Centers and Urban Edge Properties’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Saul Centers $221.81 million 6.13 $144.68 million $1.58 39.45
Urban Edge Properties $379.02 million 7.11 $230.14 million $1.01 24.79

Urban Edge Properties has higher revenue and earnings than Saul Centers. Urban Edge Properties 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 Urban Edge Properties’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Saul Centers 21.15% 23.85% 3.42%
Urban Edge Properties 27.04% 16.72% 4.87%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

45.2% of Saul Centers shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 87.2% of Urban Edge Properties shares are held by institutional investors. 48.8% of Saul Centers shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 4.7% of Urban Edge Properties shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Summary

Urban Edge Properties beats Saul Centers on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

Saul Centers Company Profile

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.

Urban Edge Properties Company Profile

Urban Edge Properties is a real estate investment trust. The Company is focused on managing, developing, redeveloping and acquiring retail real estate in urban communities, in the New York metropolitan region. Urban Edge Properties LP (UELP or the Operating Partnership) serves as its partnership subsidiary and owns, through affiliates, all of its real estate properties and other assets. As of December 31, 2016, its portfolio consisted of 79 shopping centers, three malls and a warehouse park adjacent to one of its centers totaling 14.8 million square feet. As of December 31, 2016, it leased 19 properties under ground and/or building leases. As of December 31, 2016, it had approximately 1,200 leases. Its shopping centers and malls are located at California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Puerto Rico. Its shopping centers and malls include Signal Hill, Vallejo, Walnut Creek, Newington and others.

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