Macerich Company (The) (NYSE: MAC) and Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) are both large-cap finance companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, profitability, earnings, dividends, valuation, risk and analyst recommendations.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Macerich Company (The) and Saul Centers’ revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio NetIncome Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Macerich Company (The) $1.04 billion 7.90 $516.99 million $1.05 51.80
Saul Centers $217.07 million 6.11 $45.27 million $1.63 37.14

Macerich Company (The) has higher revenue and earnings than Saul Centers. Saul Centers is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Macerich Company (The), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Profitability

This table compares Macerich Company (The) and Saul Centers’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Macerich Company (The) 14.92% 3.56% 1.55%
Saul Centers 21.42% 24.20% 3.45%

Insider & Institutional Ownership

94.7% of Macerich Company (The) shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 45.2% of Saul Centers shares are held by institutional investors. 3.8% of Macerich Company (The) shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 48.8% of Saul Centers shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Dividends

Macerich Company (The) pays an annual dividend of $2.84 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.2%. Saul Centers pays an annual dividend of $2.04 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.4%. Macerich Company (The) pays out 270.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. 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. Macerich Company (The) has raised its dividend for 6 consecutive years and Saul Centers has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years. Macerich Company (The) is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.

Volatility & Risk

Macerich Company (The) has a beta of 0.8, suggesting that its share price is 20% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Saul Centers has a beta of 0.71, suggesting that its share price is 29% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for Macerich Company (The) and Saul Centers, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Macerich Company (The) 1 8 5 0 2.29
Saul Centers 0 0 1 0 3.00

Macerich Company (The) presently has a consensus target price of $66.93, suggesting a potential upside of 23.05%. Given Macerich Company (The)’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Macerich Company (The) is more favorable than Saul Centers.

Summary

Macerich Company (The) beats Saul Centers on 9 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Macerich Company (The)

The Macerich Company is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is involved in the acquisition, ownership, development, redevelopment, management and leasing of regional and community/power shopping centers located throughout the United States. The Company owns ownership interests in, The Macerich Partnership, L.P. (the Operating Partnership). As of December 31, 2016, the Company, through its operating partnership, had ownership interests in 50 regional shopping centers and seven community/power shopping centers. These 57 regional and community/power shopping centers consisted of approximately 56 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA), as of December 31, 2016. The Company’s properties include Danbury Fair Mall, Desert Sky Mall, Fresno Fashion Fair, NorthPark Mall, Oaks, The, Towne Mall, Valley Mall, Arrowhead Towne Center, Deptford Mall and South Plains Mall.

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.

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