KAR Auction Services Inc. (NYSE:KAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

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. “

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on KAR. Macquarie reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Susquehanna started coverage on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Friday, August 26th. They issued a “positive” rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. Jefferies Group upped their price target on shares of KAR Auction Services from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Wednesday, August 3rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently 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 40.66 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.62 billion, a PE ratio of 25.11 and a beta of 1.41. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $41.97 and its 200-day moving average is $41.58. KAR Auction Services has a 52 week low of $31.54 and a 52 week high of $44.10.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.03. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 19.45% and a net margin of 7.58%. The firm earned $773.80 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $770.84 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.47 EPS. KAR Auction Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that KAR Auction Services will post $2.08 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 6th. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 19th. This is a positive change from KAR Auction Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.15%. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.60%.

In other news, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 18,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.51, for a total transaction of $697,993.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Mark E. Hill purchased 12,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 9th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $41.78 per share, for a total transaction of $501,360.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 25,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,065,390. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in KAR. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. raised its stake in KAR Auction Services by 178.6% in the third quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 2,385 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,529 shares in the last quarter. TLP Group LLC purchased a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the third quarter worth about $126,000. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter worth about $137,000. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd raised its stake in KAR Auction Services by 85.7% in the second quarter. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd now owns 3,636 shares of the company’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 1,678 shares in the last quarter. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company purchased a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the third quarter worth about $167,000.

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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