Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE:GPC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Genuine Parts remains committed to boost shareholder value through share repurchases and dividend hikes. The company frequently undertakes acquisitions to expand its business. Genuine Parts also undertakes various initiatives to boost sales and earnings, such as product line expansion, penetration into new markets and cost-saving activities. However, Genuine Parts is facing challenges in the non-automotive business. In addition, intensifying competition poses a concern. The company reduced its earnings and revenue guidance for 2016. Genuine Parts' earnings estimates have been stable over the last thirty days. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Wedbush lowered their price target on Genuine Parts from $98.00 to $95.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 19th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $95.00 price target (down previously from $105.00) on shares of Genuine Parts in a report on Wednesday, October 19th. Finally, Susquehanna began coverage on Genuine Parts in a report on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $102.00 price target for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Genuine Parts has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $98.80.

Analyst Recommendations for Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC)

Shares of Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) opened at 96.23 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $14.31 billion, a PE ratio of 20.79 and a beta of 0.91. Genuine Parts has a 12 month low of $76.50 and a 12 month high of $105.97. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $93.34 and its 200 day moving average is $98.10.

Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 19th. The company reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.05. Genuine Parts had a net margin of 4.57% and a return on equity of 21.43%. The firm earned $3.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.03 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.24 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Genuine Parts will post $4.58 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 9th will be issued a $0.6575 dividend. This represents a $2.63 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.73%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 7th. Genuine Parts’s dividend payout ratio is presently 56.68%.

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In related news, Chairman Thomas Gallagher purchased 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 20th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $89.24 per share, for a total transaction of $267,720.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 3.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. First Republic Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Genuine Parts by 5.1% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 26,331 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,616,000 after buying an additional 1,277 shares in the last quarter. Park National Corp OH boosted its position in Genuine Parts by 4.1% in the second quarter. Park National Corp OH now owns 256,423 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,963,000 after buying an additional 10,135 shares in the last quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp boosted its position in Genuine Parts by 8.3% in the second quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 58,192 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,892,000 after buying an additional 4,444 shares in the last quarter. DNB Asset Management AS boosted its position in Genuine Parts by 2.4% in the second quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 12,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,278,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX boosted its position in Genuine Parts by 6.4% in the second quarter. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX now owns 38,730 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,921,000 after buying an additional 2,327 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.81% of the company’s stock.

About Genuine Parts

Genuine Parts Company is a service organization engaged in the distribution of automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products and electrical/electronic materials. The Company’s segments include Automotive, Industrial, Office Products Group, Electrical/Electronic Materials and Other.

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