Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD) gapped up prior to trading on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $79.43, but opened at $79.63. Lithia Motors shares last traded at $80.64, with a volume of 173,207 shares changing hands.

LAD has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. KeyCorp restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $122.00 target price on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Monday, April 25th. Jefferies Group assumed coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Monday, April 11th. They set a “buy” rating and a $105.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $118.43.

The company has a 50-day moving average of $76.02 and a 200-day moving average of $83.22. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.05 billion and a PE ratio of 11.58.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The company reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.54 by $0.01. The firm earned $2 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.39 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Lithia Motors Inc. will post $7.58 earnings per share for the current year.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new position in Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter worth about $2,087,000. Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 13.1% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 26,002 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,773,000 after buying an additional 3,010 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 27.2% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 31,771 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,389,000 after buying an additional 6,789 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 32,527 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,470,000 after buying an additional 2,397 shares during the period. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 42,240 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,506,000 after buying an additional 750 shares during the period.

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. Its Domestic segment consists of retail automotive franchises that sell new vehicles of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford.

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