With thousands of public companies out there, and most investors tripping over themselves to buy and sell shares in, say, Google and Sirius, there are bound to be a lot of stocks that get almost completely ignored. The $1 billion REIT Saul Centers
Because of its dividend, I took a look at Saul Centers back in March in my dividend stock roundup. At this point, only two Wall Street firms actively (with "actively" used loosely here) follow Saul Centers, and its following in The Motley Fool's CAPS community is light, with just 12 ratings -- all outperform, I might add. Even on the Yahoo! message boards, where fanatics typically go at it no-holds-barred, there hasn't been a single message since Saul released earnings, and the last three messages are all touting stock recommendation websites unrelated to Saul.
For the quarter, the company upped its revenue 10% to $36.7 million and increased its operating income by an even greater 16%. The results were driven in part by a new shopping center, the Landsdowne Town Center, near Leesburg, Va. Revenue from existing properties, meaning properties that were open in the first quarter of last year, was up 5.1%.
It's important to point out that the earnings estimate of $0.67 on Yahoo! Finance does not refer to earnings per share, which were $0.39. Instead, it refers to funds from operations (FFO). FFO is net income plus property depreciation and amortization and minority interests, less preferred dividends, and it is an important performance metric for a REIT. For the quarter, Saul Centers met estimates and posted $0.67 FFO per share, up from $0.62 in the prior year.
Against comparables like Regency Centers
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