Asbury Automotive Group Inc (NYSE:ABG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Asbury Automotive Group is one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States. They sell, finance and service a diverse range of foreign and domestic automobile brands. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Asbury Automotive Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 price target (down from $68.00) on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $58.00 price target (down from $60.00) on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Craig Hallum reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $55.00 price target (down from $65.00) on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Asbury Automotive Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. Asbury Automotive Group presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.80.

Shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE ABG) traded down 2.31% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $52.95. 117,058 shares of the company were exchanged. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $55.22 and its 200 day moving average price is $59.73. Asbury Automotive Group has a 12 month low of $47.50 and a 12 month high of $71.00. The stock has a market cap of $1.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.89 and a beta of 1.42.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.58 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $1.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.65 billion. Asbury Automotive Group had a net margin of 2.53% and a return on equity of 46.58%. Asbury Automotive Group’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.65 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Asbury Automotive Group will post $6.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Asbury Automotive Group news, COO David W. Hult sold 12,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.34, for a total transaction of $716,750.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 41,911 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,403,176.74. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider William Frederick Stax sold 495 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.25, for a total transaction of $26,853.75. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 4,586 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $248,790.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 15,738 shares of company stock valued at $897,157. 11.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 116,095.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,514,474 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,120,000 after buying an additional 2,512,310 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Asbury Automotive Group by 8.3% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 171,667 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,318,000 after buying an additional 13,156 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its position in Asbury Automotive Group by 3.0% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 82,047 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,931,000 after buying an additional 2,391 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Asbury Automotive Group by 45.6% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,874 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 587 shares during the period. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its position in Asbury Automotive Group by 17.7% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 77,424 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,654,000 after buying an additional 11,662 shares during the period. 99.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Asbury Automotive Group

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and operated 93 new vehicle franchises, representing 28 brands of automobiles at 77 dealership locations, and 23 collision centers in the United States. In addition, as of December 31, 2016, it owned and operated two standalone used vehicle stores in Florida.

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Analyst Recommendations for Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG)

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