Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $105.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective points to a potential upside of 9.97% from the company’s current price.
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 assumed coverage on Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, August 31st. They issued an “outperform” rating on the stock. Five analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $110.50.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) opened at 95.48 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.40 billion, a PE ratio of 13.64 and a beta of 1.97. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $87.45 and its 200-day moving average is $82.75. Lithia Motors has a 52-week low of $68.70 and a 52-week high of $126.56.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.96 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.93 by $0.03. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.23% and a return on equity of 23.42%. The company earned $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.18 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.86 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Lithia Motors will post $7.65 earnings per share for the current year.
In other news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 17,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 155,677 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,477,961. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 11.41% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LAD. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV increased its position in Lithia Motors by 3.6% in the first quarter. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV now owns 2,387 shares of the company’s stock worth $208,000 after buying an additional 84 shares in the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its position in Lithia Motors by 3.6% in the second quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 3,573 shares of the company’s stock worth $254,000 after buying an additional 124 shares in the last quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. increased its position in Lithia Motors by 7.0% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 3,022 shares of the company’s stock worth $214,000 after buying an additional 197 shares in the last quarter. American International Group Inc. increased its position in Lithia Motors by 1.1% in the second quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 17,689 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,257,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. increased its position in Lithia Motors by 6.8% in the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 3,760 shares of the company’s stock worth $267,000 after buying an additional 240 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.94% of the company’s stock.
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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