Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday, 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. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Compass Point downgraded shares of Saratoga Investment from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, April 15th. LADENBURG THALM/SH SH downgraded shares of Saratoga Investment from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $24.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, May 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, National Securities reissued a neutral rating and issued a $24.00 target price on shares of Saratoga Investment in a research note on Friday, May 17th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $24.25.

NYSE:SAR opened at $24.57 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $197.09 million, a P/E ratio of 9.34 and a beta of 0.64. Saratoga Investment has a fifty-two week low of $18.60 and a fifty-two week high of $25.65. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $24.37.

Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 10th. The financial services provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.57 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $12.75 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $12.21 million. Saratoga Investment had a net margin of 44.66% and a return on equity of 10.75%. Analysts forecast that Saratoga Investment will post 2.4 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 27th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, June 13th were paid a $0.55 dividend. This represents a $2.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 8.95%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 12th. This is an increase from Saratoga Investment’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.54. Saratoga Investment’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 83.65%.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. PFG Advisors raised its stake in shares of Saratoga Investment by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. PFG Advisors now owns 39,142 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $981,000 after acquiring an additional 439 shares during the period. Belpointe Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Saratoga Investment by 3.7% during the 1st quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC now owns 16,295 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $363,000 after buying an additional 581 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in Saratoga Investment by 68.8% during the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,939 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $39,000 after buying an additional 790 shares during the period. North Star Investment Management Corp. purchased a new stake in Saratoga Investment during the 1st quarter worth $25,000. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in Saratoga Investment by 33.0% during the 4th quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 32,461 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $646,000 after buying an additional 8,054 shares during the period. 16.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Saratoga Investment

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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