Shares of Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI) have earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the eight analysts that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $77.40.

A number of brokerages have commented on GPI. ValuEngine lowered shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, September 22nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 28th. Buckingham Research upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, October 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 18th.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 846,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $53,300,000 after acquiring an additional 24,446 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management grew its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 22.9% in the 3rd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 804,044 shares of the company’s stock worth $52,182,000 after acquiring an additional 149,800 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 625,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,404,000 after acquiring an additional 17,350 shares in the last quarter. Towle & Co. grew its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 3.0% in the 3rd quarter. Towle & Co. now owns 398,889 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,888,000 after acquiring an additional 11,790 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 394,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,594,000 after acquiring an additional 5,049 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.86% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE:GPI traded up $1.00 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $59.92. The company had a trading volume of 143,378 shares, compared to its average volume of 184,685. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.75, a P/E/G ratio of 1.64 and a beta of 1.82. The company has a quick ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14. Group 1 Automotive has a one year low of $48.69 and a one year high of $83.97.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $2.47 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.39 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $2.89 billion during the quarter. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 2.05% and a return on equity of 15.48%. On average, analysts anticipate that Group 1 Automotive will post 8.88 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 3rd were paid a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 30th. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.74%. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.45%.

Group 1 Automotive announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 25th that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 9.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Group 1 Automotive Company Profile

Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. It sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts; arranges vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; and provides automotive maintenance and repair services. The company has operations primarily in the metropolitan areas of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States; 28 towns in the United Kingdom; and in the metropolitan markets of Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Further Reading: Institutional Investors

Analyst Recommendations for Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

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