Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) – Equities research analysts at KeyCorp upped their Q3 2017 earnings per share estimates for Lithia Motors in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. KeyCorp analyst B. Hoselton now forecasts that the company will earn $2.38 per share for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $2.30.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $2.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.23 by $0.05. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.26% and a return on equity of 21.66%. The firm had revenue of $2.47 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.96 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

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Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $125.00 price target on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $104.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $116.00 price objective (up previously from $106.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.17.

Shares of Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) opened at 104.34 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $98.71 and its 200-day moving average is $93.98. Lithia Motors has a 12 month low of $75.85 and a 12 month high of $109.42. The company has a market cap of $2.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.58 and a beta of 1.73.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th will be paid a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 9th. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.04%. Lithia Motors’s payout ratio is currently 13.01%.

In other news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 81,444 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.39, for a total value of $8,094,719.16. Following the sale, the director now owns 48,668 shares in the company, valued at $4,837,112.52. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 71,756 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.40, for a total transaction of $7,419,570.40. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 28,668 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,964,271.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 209,296 shares of company stock worth $20,951,694 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 7.85% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Lithia Motors by 152,203.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,901,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $248,504,000 after buying an additional 2,899,477 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Lithia Motors by 2.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,097,189 shares of the company’s stock valued at $197,618,000 after buying an additional 56,888 shares in the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its stake in Lithia Motors by 10.4% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,466,628 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,617,000 after buying an additional 138,376 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in Lithia Motors by 1.0% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,187,168 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,867,000 after buying an additional 11,661 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in Lithia Motors by 139.5% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 955,783 shares of the company’s stock valued at $90,063,000 after buying an additional 556,684 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.45% of the company’s stock.

Lithia Motors Company Profile

Lithia Motors, Inc is an operator of automotive franchises and a retailer of new and used vehicles and related services. As of February 28, 2017, it offered 30 brands of new vehicles and all brands of used vehicles in 154 stores in the United States and online at Lithia.com, DCHauto.com and CarboneCars.com.

Earnings History and Estimates for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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