Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) – Investment analysts at Seaport Global Securities raised their Q3 2017 earnings per share estimates for shares of Lithia Motors in a research note issued on Friday. Seaport Global Securities analyst M. Ward now expects that the company will earn $2.29 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $2.19. Seaport Global Securities currently has a “Neutral” rating on the stock. Seaport Global Securities also issued estimates for Lithia Motors’ Q4 2017 earnings at $2.06 EPS, FY2017 earnings at $8.40 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $2.36 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $2.35 EPS and Q4 2018 earnings at $2.10 EPS.

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Bank of America Corporation lowered Lithia Motors from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $92.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Friday, June 16th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 target price on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Lithia Motors from $115.00 to $106.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 9th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lithia Motors presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.17.

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Shares of Lithia Motors (NYSE LAD) opened at 104.29 on Monday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $95.35 and a 200 day moving average price of $93.79. Lithia Motors has a 52-week low of $75.85 and a 52-week high of $109.42. The company has a market capitalization of $2.62 billion, a PE ratio of 12.57 and a beta of 1.73.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $2.28 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.05. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 21.66% and a net margin of 2.26%. The company had revenue of $2.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.45 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.96 earnings per share. Lithia Motors’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 152,203.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,901,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $248,504,000 after buying an additional 2,899,477 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 139.5% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 955,783 shares of the company’s stock worth $90,063,000 after buying an additional 556,684 shares in the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 6,308.0% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 383,516 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,070,000 after buying an additional 377,531 shares in the last quarter. Park West Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 30.2% in the first quarter. Park West Asset Management LLC now owns 828,214 shares of the company’s stock worth $70,937,000 after buying an additional 192,280 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Westfield Capital Management Co. LP purchased a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the first quarter worth approximately $15,225,000. 97.34% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Lithia Motors news, CEO Bryan B. Deboer sold 316 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.19, for a total value of $30,712.04. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 113,867 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,066,733.73. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 71,756 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.40, for a total value of $7,419,570.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 28,668 shares in the company, valued at $2,964,271.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 208,296 shares of company stock worth $20,846,054. Insiders own 7.85% of the company’s stock.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 11th will be issued a $0.27 dividend. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 9th. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio is 13.01%.

About Lithia Motors

Lithia Motors, Inc is an operator of automotive franchises and a retailer of new and used vehicles and related services. As of February 28, 2017, it offered 30 brands of new vehicles and all brands of used vehicles in 154 stores in the United States and online at Lithia.com, DCHauto.com and CarboneCars.com.

Earnings History and Estimates for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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