Lithia Motors Inc. (LAD) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $105.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.50% from the stock’s previous close.
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 initiated coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Wednesday, August 31st. They set an “outperform” rating for the company. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $110.50.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) traded down 0.83% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $93.39. The company had a trading volume of 148,133 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.35 and a beta of 1.97. Lithia Motors has a 12-month low of $68.70 and a 12-month high of $126.56. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $86.87 and a 200-day moving average of $82.64.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $1.96 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.93 by $0.03. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.23% and a return on equity of 23.42%. The firm earned $2.13 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.18 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.86 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Lithia Motors will post $7.65 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 17,600 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.00, for a total transaction of $1,672,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 138,077 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,117,315. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 11.41% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of LAD. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 124.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,542 shares of the company’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 855 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC purchased a new position in Lithia Motors during the second quarter valued at about $199,000. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV raised 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 valued at $208,000 after buying an additional 84 shares in the last quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. raised 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 valued at $214,000 after buying an additional 197 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Zweig DiMenna Associates LLC purchased a new position in Lithia Motors during the second quarter valued at about $220,000. 92.94% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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.
Receive News & Stock Ratings for Lithia Motors Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Lithia Motors Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.