Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD)’s share price gapped up before the market opened 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.

Several equities analysts have commented on LAD shares. KeyCorp reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $122.00 price objective on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Jefferies Group started coverage on 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 lowered Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $118.43.

The company has a market capitalization of $2.06 billion and a PE ratio of 11.63. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $75.99 and its 200 day moving average is $83.02.

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

A number of institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the stock. California State Teachers Retirement System increased its position 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 valued at $4,506,000 after buying an additional 750 shares during the period. New York State Common Retirement Fund increased its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 80,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,616,000 after buying an additional 1,311 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 5.5% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 44,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,725,000 after buying an additional 2,300 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 32,527 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,470,000 after buying an additional 2,397 shares during the period. Finally, Sei Investments Co. increased its position 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 valued at $2,773,000 after buying an additional 3,010 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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