Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD) shares gapped up prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $72.96, but opened at $73.44. Lithia Motors shares last traded at $77.50, with a volume of 228,180 shares.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on LAD shares. KeyCorp reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $122.00 price target on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Monday, April 25th. Jefferies Group started coverage on Lithia Motors in a research note on Monday, April 11th. They set a “buy” rating and a $105.00 price target for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 25th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lithia Motors has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $118.43.

The firm’s 50 day moving average is $76.04 and its 200 day moving average is $83.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.97 billion and a PE ratio of 11.12.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $2 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.96 billion. The business’s revenue was up 10.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.39 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Lithia Motors Inc. will post $7.58 earnings per share for the current year.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new stake in Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,087,000. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Lithia Motors by 20.5% in the fourth quarter. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC now owns 115,580 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,329,000 after buying an additional 19,641 shares in the last quarter. Burney Co. increased its stake in Lithia Motors by 7.4% in the fourth quarter. Burney Co. now owns 51,206 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,516,000 after buying an additional 3,550 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Lithia Motors by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 160,802 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,152,000 after buying an additional 6,450 shares in the last quarter. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its stake in Lithia Motors by 12.7% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 432,839 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,171,000 after buying an additional 48,619 shares in the last quarter.

Lithia Motors, Inc is an operator of automotive franchises and a retailer of new and used vehicles and services. The Company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import and Luxury. The Domestic segment consists of retail automotive franchises that sell new vehicles of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford.

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