Group 1 Automotive Inc. (NYSE:GPI) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. They currently have a $59.00 price target on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s price target would suggest a potential downside of 18.42% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on GPI. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on Group 1 Automotive in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Finally, TheStreet raised Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $63.33.

Analyst Recommendations for Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

Shares of Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) opened at 72.32 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $62.94 and a 200-day moving average price of $59.84. The company has a market capitalization of $1.48 billion, a PE ratio of 19.76 and a beta of 1.38. Group 1 Automotive has a 1-year low of $47.31 and a 1-year high of $83.43.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 20th. The company reported $1.96 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.13. Group 1 Automotive had a return on equity of 17.77% and a net margin of 0.72%. The company earned $2.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.89 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.91 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Group 1 Automotive will post $7.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 1st will be given a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.27%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 29th. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is presently 24.02%.

In other news, Director Lincoln Pereira sold 35,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.69, for a total transaction of $2,369,150.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 67,425 shares in the company, valued at $4,563,998.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Peter C. Delongchamps sold 7,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The shares were 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. Insiders own 7.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Hillcrest Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Group 1 Automotive during the first quarter worth about $4,727,000. Towle & Co. boosted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 125.7% in the second quarter. Towle & Co. now owns 265,491 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,105,000 after buying an additional 147,850 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 9.5% in the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 52,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,611,000 after buying an additional 4,600 shares in the last quarter. SECOR Capital Advisors LP purchased a new stake in Group 1 Automotive during the second quarter worth about $888,000. Finally, Acrospire Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in 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. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 96.39% of the company’s stock.

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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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