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

Brokers have set a 1-year consensus price target of $69.50 for the company and are forecasting that the company will post $0.78 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zacks has also given Saul Centers an industry rank of 167 out of 265 based on the ratings given to its competitors.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on BFS shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Saul Centers from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. BidaskClub raised shares of Saul Centers from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Saul Centers from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th.

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Shares of Saul Centers (BFS) traded down $1.27 during trading on Friday, reaching $60.54. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 26,323 shares, compared to its average volume of 30,724. The stock has a market cap of $1.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.83, a PEG ratio of 3.87 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a quick ratio of 2.54, a current ratio of 2.54 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.71.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 31st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 17th were paid a dividend of $0.51 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, October 16th. This represents a $2.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.37%. Saul Centers’s dividend payout ratio is currently 125.15%.

In other news, Director Philip D. Caraci sold 1,000 shares of Saul Centers stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.89, for a total transaction of $60,890.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Steven N. Corey sold 11,250 shares of Saul Centers stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.26, for a total transaction of $711,675.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 37,328 shares of company stock worth $2,335,487 in the last quarter. Insiders own 48.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 79.3% during the second quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 2,331 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $135,000 after purchasing an additional 1,031 shares during the period. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 4.9% during the second quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 2,780 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $161,000 after purchasing an additional 130 shares during the period. QS Investors LLC raised its stake in shares of Saul Centers by 400.0% during the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 3,500 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $203,000 after purchasing an additional 2,800 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Saul Centers during the third quarter valued at approximately $209,000. Finally, Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in shares of Saul Centers during the first quarter valued at approximately $222,000. Institutional investors own 45.18% of the company’s stock.

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.

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