KAR Auction Services Inc. (NYSE:KAR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “KAR Auction Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a used vehicle and salvage auto auction company in North America. The company operates in three segments: ADESA, IAAI, and AFC. The ADESA segment provides whole car auctions and related services to commercial fleet operators, financial institutions, rental car companies, used vehicle dealers, vehicle manufacturers and their captive finance companies, and franchised and independent used vehicle dealers. This segment also provides value-added ancillary services, such as inspections, storage, transportation, reconditioning and titling, and other administrative services. The IAAI segment offers salvage vehicle auctions and related services. The AFC segment offers short-term and inventory-secured financing, known as floorplan financing, to independent used vehicle dealers. KAR Auction Services, Inc. is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. “

Several other analysts have also weighed in on the company. Macquarie reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a report on Monday, August 29th. Susquehanna assumed coverage on KAR Auction Services in a report on Friday, August 26th. They issued a “positive” rating and a $50.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group upped their target price on KAR Auction Services from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Finally, Northcoast Research lowered KAR Auction Services from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $43.71.

Analyst Recommendations for KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR)

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) opened at 43.44 on Wednesday. KAR Auction Services has a 1-year low of $31.54 and a 1-year high of $43.91. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.18 and a beta of 1.37. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $42.37 and a 200 day moving average price of $40.68.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.55 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.01. The firm earned $771.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $757.67 million. KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 7.79% and a return on equity of 19.03%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 17.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.51 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that KAR Auction Services will post $2.13 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 4th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 21st were given a dividend of $0.29 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, September 19th. This represents a $1.16 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.67%. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 72.50%.

In other news, EVP Benjamin Skuy sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.74, for a total transaction of $427,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 87,420 shares in the company, valued at $3,736,330.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 18,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.38, for a total value of $731,887.50. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 1,039 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $41,954.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new position in shares of KAR Auction Services during the second quarter valued at about $137,000. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd increased its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 85.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd now owns 3,636 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 1,678 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 508.5% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,150 shares of the company’s stock valued at $174,000 after buying an additional 3,468 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. acquired a new position in shares of KAR Auction Services during the second quarter valued at about $205,000. Finally, Parametrica Management Ltd acquired a new position in shares of KAR Auction Services during the second quarter valued at about $206,000.

About KAR Auction Services

KAR Auction Services, Inc is a provider of whole car auction services in North America, and salvage auction services in North America and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: ADESA, Inc (ADESA Auctions), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:KAR

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