Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Saul Centers, Inc. (NYSE:BFS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “SAUL CENTERS, INC. is a real estate investment trust which is engaged in the management and development of the shopping center business of the Saul Organization. “

Separately, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Saul Centers from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, June 30th.

Shares of Saul Centers (NYSE:BFS) opened at 60.57 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $59.18 and its 200-day moving average is $61.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.30 billion, a PE ratio of 39.03 and a beta of 0.73. Saul Centers has a 12 month low of $55.86 and a 12 month high of $68.75.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, July 31st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 17th will be issued a dividend of $0.51 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 13th. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.37%. Saul Centers’s payout ratio is currently 131.61%.

In other news, Director Patrick F. Noonan sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.00, for a total transaction of $290,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,588 shares in the company, valued at approximately $730,104. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 15,000 shares of company stock worth $885,800. Insiders own 48.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue raised its position in Saul Centers by 79.3% in 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 buying an additional 1,031 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC raised its position in Saul Centers by 7.0% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 2,752 shares of the real estate investment trust’s stock valued at $170,000 after buying an additional 180 shares during the last quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan raised its position in Saul Centers by 4.9% in 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 buying an additional 130 shares during the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp acquired a new position in Saul Centers during the first quarter valued at approximately $222,000. Finally, Citadel Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Saul Centers during the first quarter valued at approximately $232,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 46.56% 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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