Shares of Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD) gapped up before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $81.90, but opened at $81.98. Lithia Motors shares last traded at $83.51, with a volume of 137,765 shares traded.

LAD has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. KeyCorp reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $122.00 price target on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $114.00.

The company has a market capitalization of $2.11 billion and a P/E ratio of 11.98. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $79.31 and its 200 day moving average is $82.39.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.96 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.93 by $0.03. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.86 earnings per share. The company earned $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.18 billion. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Lithia Motors Inc. will post $7.64 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 26th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 12th will be paid a $0.25 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 10th. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.19%.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in LAD. State of Tennessee Treasury Department acquired a new stake in Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,979,000. Marshall Wace LLP acquired a new stake in Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,087,000. Calvert Investment Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,505,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in Lithia Motors by 27.2% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 31,771 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,389,000 after buying an additional 6,789 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in 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 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. Its Domestic segment consists of retail automotive franchises that sell new vehicles of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.