Group 1 Automotive Inc. (NYSE:GPI) has earned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the seven research firms that are presently covering the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month target price among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $64.00.

GPI has been the subject of several analyst reports. TheStreet raised Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 27th. Buckingham Research raised Group 1 Automotive from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 20th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $61.00 price objective (down from $64.00) on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Saturday. Finally, Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Tuesday, August 9th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company.

Shares of Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) opened at 63.87 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.32 billion, a PE ratio of 16.05 and a beta of 1.58. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $60.78 and a 200 day moving average price of $58.97. Group 1 Automotive has a 52 week low of $47.31 and a 52 week high of $89.64.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $2.16 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.07. The business earned $2.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.86 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a return on equity of 17.97% and a net margin of 0.82%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.98 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Group 1 Automotive will post $7.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 1st were paid a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.44%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30th. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is currently 22.66%.

In related news, VP Darryl M. Burman sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.90, for a total transaction of $117,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 72,633 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,278,083.70. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Peter C. Delongchamps sold 7,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total value of $459,150.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 7.00% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of GPI. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Group 1 Automotive by 1.1% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,653,156 shares of the company’s stock valued at $81,600,000 after buying an additional 17,459 shares during the last quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. increased its position in Group 1 Automotive by 88.0% in the second quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 836,125 shares of the company’s stock valued at $41,271,000 after buying an additional 391,305 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in Group 1 Automotive by 0.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 688,829 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,427,000 after buying an additional 4,440 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in Group 1 Automotive by 5.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 615,799 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,135,000 after buying an additional 30,167 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Lakewood Capital Management LP increased its position in Group 1 Automotive by 62.1% in the second quarter. Lakewood Capital Management LP now owns 443,625 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,897,000 after buying an additional 170,000 shares during the last quarter. 97.19% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Group 1 Automotive

Group 1 Automotive, Inc is an operator in the automotive retail industry. The Company, through its dealerships, sells new and used cars and light trucks; arranges related vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; provides automotive maintenance and repair services, and sells vehicle parts.

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