Lithia Motors Inc. (LAD) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $105.00 target price on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Lithia Motors focuses on enhancing shareholder value through regular share buybacks, dividend payments, expansion through acquisitions and store openings. The company also expects improved results for 2016. However, it is under pressure due to extensive merchandise inventory. High proportion of inventory can affect the short-term liquidity of the company in periods of low sales. In addition, dependence on automakers and intensifying competition pose challenges for the company. Lithia Motors’ earnings estimates have been stable lately. The company has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”
Separately, Wolfe Research started coverage on Lithia Motors in a research note on Wednesday, August 31st. They issued an outperform rating on the stock. Five analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, Lithia Motors has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $110.50.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) opened at 94.72 on Tuesday. Lithia Motors has a 12-month low of $68.70 and a 12-month high of $126.56. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $88.15 and its 200-day moving average price is $82.87. The company has a market capitalization of $2.38 billion, a PE ratio of 13.54 and a beta of 1.97.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.96 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.93 by $0.03. The company earned $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.18 billion. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 23.42% and a net margin of 2.23%. Lithia Motors’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.86 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Lithia Motors will post $7.65 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Lithia Motors news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 17,600 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.00, for a total value of $1,636,800.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 155,677 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,477,961. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 11.41% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LAD. Mason Street Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Lithia Motors during the second quarter valued at about $331,000. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Lithia Motors during the second quarter valued at about $537,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 7.4% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 107,350 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,630,000 after buying an additional 7,427 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 4.5% in the second quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 43,299 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,076,000 after buying an additional 1,867 shares during the period. Finally, Pine River Capital Management L.P. boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 88.0% in the second quarter. Pine River Capital Management L.P. now owns 47,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,340,000 after buying an additional 22,000 shares during the period. 92.94% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Lithia Motors Company Profile
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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