Shares of Asbury Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE:ABG) have received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the nine research firms that are covering the firm. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $73.67.

Several research analysts have issued reports on the company. TheStreet upgraded Asbury Automotive Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Asbury Automotive Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Finally, Wolfe Research assumed coverage on Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Tuesday, September 13th. They issued a “market perform” rating for the company.

Shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) traded down 0.72% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $54.85. 69,936 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Asbury Automotive Group has a 52 week low of $43.56 and a 52 week high of $87.61. The company has a market capitalization of $1.22 billion, a PE ratio of 8.36 and a beta of 1.20. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $54.63 and its 200-day moving average is $55.82.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $1.65 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.65. Asbury Automotive Group had a return on equity of 51.29% and a net margin of 2.45%. The business earned $1.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.72 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.52 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Asbury Automotive Group will post $6.11 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Asbury Automotive Group news, CEO Craig T. Monaghan sold 27,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.92, for a total value of $1,563,840.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 125,519 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,270,060.48. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Keith Style sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.11, for a total value of $305,550.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 26,642 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,628,092.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 10.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Asbury Automotive Group by 143.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,575,486 shares of the company’s stock worth $94,277,000 after buying an additional 929,111 shares during the last quarter. Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. raised its stake in Asbury Automotive Group by 44.9% in the second quarter. Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. now owns 1,128,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $59,525,000 after buying an additional 349,528 shares during the last quarter. Lombardia Capital Partners LLC bought a new stake in Asbury Automotive Group during the second quarter worth approximately $12,285,000. UBS Group AG raised its stake in Asbury Automotive Group by 125.8% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 290,279 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,370,000 after buying an additional 161,722 shares during the last quarter. Finally, New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY bought a new stake in Asbury Automotive Group during the second quarter worth approximately $5,301,000.

About Asbury Automotive Group

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company offers a range of automotive products and services, including new vehicles; used vehicles; parts and service, including vehicle repair and maintenance services, replacement parts, and collision repair services, and finance and insurance, including arranging vehicle financing through third parties and aftermarket products, such as extended service contracts, guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance, prepaid maintenance, and credit life and disability insurance.

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