Asbury Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE:ABG) traded up 2.5% on Monday . The company traded as high as $59.01 and last traded at $58.94, with a volume of 68,252 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $57.51.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Asbury Automotive Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Jefferies Group assumed coverage on Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Monday, April 11th. They set a “hold” rating and a $60.00 target price for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $78.38.

The company has a market cap of $1.31 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.23. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $54.89 and its 200 day moving average price is $55.55.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.33 by $0.03. The company earned $1.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.63 billion. Asbury Automotive Group’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.30 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Asbury Automotive Group Inc. will post $6.10 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, SVP George Karolis sold 1,717 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.47, for a total value of $103,826.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,537 shares in the company, valued at $455,762.39. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Dennis E. Clements sold 2,034 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.31, for a total value of $108,432.54. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 24,943 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,329,711.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of ABG. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 162,222 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,940,000 after buying an additional 4,520 shares during the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group during the fourth quarter valued at $8,765,000. Sei Investments Co. acquired a new position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group during the fourth quarter valued at $5,939,000. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 84,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,705,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 46.6% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 66,314 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,472,000 after buying an additional 21,087 shares during the last quarter.

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company offers a range of automotive products and services, including new vehicles; used vehicles; parts and service, including vehicle repair and maintenance services, replacement parts, and collision repair services, and finance and insurance, including arranging vehicle financing through third parties and aftermarket products, such as extended service contracts, guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance, prepaid maintenance, and credit life and disability insurance.

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