Shares of KAR Auction Services Inc. (NYSE:KAR) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Friday . The stock traded as high as $43.04 and last traded at $43.00, with a volume of 593,478 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $42.35.

KAR has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of KAR Auction Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Sterne Agee CRT lifted their price objective on shares of KAR Auction Services to $45.00 in a research report on Friday, May 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research report on Wednesday, May 4th. Northcoast Research lowered shares of KAR Auction Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $47.00 price objective (up previously from $45.00) on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research report on Thursday, May 5th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $42.17.

The firm has a market capitalization of $5.93 billion and a PE ratio of 27.53. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $41.14 and a 200-day moving average of $37.81.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, May 3rd. The company reported $0.55 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.05. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.47 earnings per share. The firm had revenue of $745 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $695.79 million. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that KAR Auction Services Inc. will post $2.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 5th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 22nd were given a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.74%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 20th.

In other KAR Auction Services news, EVP Warren W. Byrd sold 1,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.45, for a total transaction of $51,285.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 1,300 shares in the company, valued at approximately $51,285. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO John C. Hammer sold 16,666 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $39.33, for a total transaction of $655,473.78. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 16,666 shares in the company, valued at approximately $655,473.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its position in KAR Auction Services by 111.4% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 8,994,713 shares of the company’s stock valued at $333,074,000 after buying an additional 4,740,569 shares in the last quarter. Marshall Wace LLP bought a new position in KAR Auction Services during the fourth quarter valued at about $18,776,000. WBI Investments Inc. bought a new position in KAR Auction Services during the fourth quarter valued at about $12,992,000. J. Goldman & Co LP bought a new position in KAR Auction Services during the fourth quarter valued at about $5,045,000. Finally, Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. bought a new position in KAR Auction Services during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,014,000.

KAR Auction Services, Inc is a provider of vehicle auction services in North America. We operate as three reportable business segments: ADESA, Inc (ADESA Auctions), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC). ADESA Auctions is a provider of whole car auctions and related services to the vehicle remarketing industry in North America.

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