Saratoga Investment (SAR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors 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. “

SAR has been the subject of several other research reports. LADENBURG THALM/SH SH cut Saratoga Investment from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $24.00 price target for the company. in a report on Friday, May 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. National Securities restated a neutral rating and set a $24.00 price target on shares of Saratoga Investment in a report on Friday, May 17th. Finally, Compass Point cut Saratoga Investment from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Monday, April 15th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $24.00.

Shares of SAR opened at $25.24 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $190.62 million, a P/E ratio of 9.58 and a beta of 0.67. Saratoga Investment has a 12-month low of $18.60 and a 12-month high of $28.30.

Saratoga Investment (NYSE:SAR) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The financial services provider reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $12.98 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $12.77 million. Saratoga Investment had a return on equity of 11.07% and a net margin of 38.80%. On average, equities analysts forecast that Saratoga Investment will post 2.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 27th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 13th will be issued a dividend of $0.55 per share. This represents a $2.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 8.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 12th. This is a boost from Saratoga Investment’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.54. Saratoga Investment’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 82.13%.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SAR. North Star Investment Management Corp. purchased a new position in shares of Saratoga Investment in the 1st quarter worth approximately $25,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Saratoga Investment by 68.8% in the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,939 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $39,000 after purchasing an additional 790 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Saratoga Investment by 217.7% in the 1st quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 5,246 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $116,000 after purchasing an additional 3,595 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Saratoga Investment in the 1st quarter worth approximately $198,000. Finally, Valeo Financial Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Saratoga Investment by 55.9% in the 4th quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 8,920 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $178,000 after purchasing an additional 3,200 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 16.65% of the company’s stock.

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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