Group 1 Automotive Inc. (NYSE:GPI) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Group 1 Automotive's dependence on certain auto manufacturers and intensifying competition in the automotive market remain concerns. The company's cash is locked up in inventories to a large extend, which can affect short-term liquidity. Group 1 Automotive’s earnings estimates have been stable lately. The company has a mixed record of surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on GPI. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $61.00 price target (down previously from $64.00) on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a report on Saturday, October 8th. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on Group 1 Automotive in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. TheStreet upgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Finally, Buckingham Research upgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $64.00.

Analyst Recommendations for Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

Shares of Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) traded down 3.87% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $62.32. The stock had a trading volume of 56,848 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $61.33 and a 200-day moving average price of $59.10. The stock has a market cap of $1.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.66 and a beta of 1.58. Group 1 Automotive has a 12-month low of $47.31 and a 12-month 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, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.09 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $2.10 billion for 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 company’s revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.98 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Group 1 Automotive will post $7.54 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders 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 1.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 30th. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is presently 22.66%.

In other Group 1 Automotive news, VP Peter C. Delongchamps sold 7,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $459,150.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Earl J. Hesterberg sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.97, for a total value of $599,700.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 165,251 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,910,102.47. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 7.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its position in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 1,050.0% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $114,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC purchased a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive during the second quarter valued at $122,000. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 77.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,522 shares of the company’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 1,099 shares during the period. Societe Generale purchased a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive during the second quarter valued at $134,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive during the second quarter valued at $134,000. 97.21% of the stock is currently owned by 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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:GPI

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Group 1 Automotive Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Group 1 Automotive Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.