Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

Several other research firms have also commented on SAR. Aegis assumed coverage on Saratoga Investment in a research report on Thursday, August 29th. They set a buy rating and a $26.00 price target on the stock. National Securities reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $24.00 price target on shares of Saratoga Investment in a research report on Friday, May 17th. B. Riley set a $26.00 price target on Saratoga Investment and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 21st. Finally, Maxim Group reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $27.00 price target on shares of Saratoga Investment in a research report on Friday, July 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $25.83.

SAR opened at $24.99 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $217.65 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.50 and a beta of 0.66. Saratoga Investment has a 52 week low of $18.60 and a 52 week high of $25.80. The business’s 50 day moving average is $24.87 and its two-hundred day moving average is $24.26.

Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 10th. The financial services provider reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $12.75 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $12.21 million. Saratoga Investment had a return on equity of 10.75% and a net margin of 44.66%. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Saratoga Investment will post 2.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 13th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 12th. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.96%. This is a positive change from Saratoga Investment’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.55. Saratoga Investment’s payout ratio is presently 85.17%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Virtus ETF Advisers LLC acquired a new position in shares of Saratoga Investment in the second quarter valued at approximately $1,879,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Saratoga Investment in the second quarter valued at approximately $304,000. Ahrens Investment Partners LLC increased its holdings in shares of Saratoga Investment by 25.6% in the second quarter. Ahrens Investment Partners LLC now owns 11,300 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $279,000 after purchasing an additional 2,300 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Saratoga Investment by 2.2% in the second quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 27,597 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $681,000 after purchasing an additional 597 shares during the period. Finally, Private Portfolio Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Saratoga Investment in the first quarter valued at approximately $311,000. 17.09% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Saratoga Investment Company Profile

Saratoga Investment Corp. is a business development company specializing in leveraged and management buyouts, acquisition financings, growth financings, recapitalization, debt refinancing, and transitional financing transactions at the lower end of middle market companies. It structures its investments as debt and equity by investing through first and second lien loans, mezzanine debt, co-investments, select high yield bonds, senior secured bonds, unsecured bonds, and preferred and common equity.

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