Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Saratoga Investment Corp. (NYSE:SAR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.

According to Zacks, “Saratoga Investment Corporation, formerly known as GSC Investment Corp., is a specialty finance company that invests primarily in leveraged loans and mezzanine debt issued by U.S. middle-market companies, both through direct lending and through participation in loan syndicates. The Company has been elected to be treated as a business development company. “

Separately, Compass Point began coverage on Saratoga Investment Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. They issued a neutral rating and a $18.00 price objective for the company.

Saratoga Investment Corp. (NYSE:SAR) opened at 18.60 on Friday. Saratoga Investment Corp. has a 12 month low of $13.41 and a 12 month high of $18.75. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $17.84 and its 200-day moving average price is $16.75. The stock has a market cap of $106.78 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.95 and a beta of 0.38.

Saratoga Investment Corp. (NYSE:SAR) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 13th. The company reported $0.46 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.05. Saratoga Investment Corp. had a return on equity of 9.23% and a net margin of 24.83%. Equities research analysts predict that Saratoga Investment Corp. will post $1.91 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a special dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 5th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 24th were issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 9.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, August 22nd. Saratoga Investment Corp.’s payout ratio is currently 129.32%.

In related news, CEO Christian L. Oberbeck bought 1,586 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 6th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $17.08 per share, with a total value of $27,088.88. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 511,006 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,727,982.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. 31.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Legal & General Group Plc raised its position in Saratoga Investment Corp. by 45.1% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 11,409 shares of the company’s stock worth $179,000 after buying an additional 3,548 shares during the last quarter. Orinda Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Saratoga Investment Corp. during the second quarter worth $193,000. Vivaldi Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Saratoga Investment Corp. during the first quarter worth $193,000. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. raised its position in shares of Saratoga Investment Corp. by 0.8% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 16,872 shares of the company’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 138 shares in the last quarter. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Saratoga Investment Corp. during the first quarter worth $282,000. 20.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Saratoga Investment Corp. Company Profile

Saratoga Investment Corp. is a specialty finance company. The Company is an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The Company invests primarily in leveraged loans and mezzanine debt issued by private middle-market companies in the United States. Its investment objective is to generate current income and, to a lesser extent, capital appreciation from its investments.

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