KAR Auction Services, Inc (NYSE:KAR) was upgraded by equities research analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, July 24th.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on KAR. Gabelli began coverage on KAR Auction Services in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $62.00 price target for the company. Zacks Investment Research cut KAR Auction Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $54.33.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) traded down 1.37% on Monday, hitting $43.90. 1,267,071 shares of the stock traded hands. KAR Auction Services has a 12-month low of $38.16 and a 12-month high of $47.03. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $41.98 and its 200-day moving average price is $43.38. The stock has a market cap of $6.03 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.93 and a beta of 1.12.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The specialty retailer reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $858 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $850.67 million. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 21.46% and a net margin of 6.83%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.55 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that KAR Auction Services will post $2.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other KAR Auction Services news, CEO John W. Kett sold 10,008 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.06, for a total value of $420,936.48. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 58,941 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,479,058.46. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.68, for a total value of $436,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 39,932 shares of company stock worth $1,713,678. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in KAR Auction Services by 20,047.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,618,436 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $245,357,000 after buying an additional 5,590,549 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC acquired a new position in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter valued at about $69,833,000. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd acquired a new position in KAR Auction Services during the first quarter valued at about $71,664,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. acquired a new position in KAR Auction Services during the first quarter valued at about $71,664,000. Finally, FMR LLC boosted its position in KAR Auction Services by 9.7% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 16,076,350 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $702,054,000 after buying an additional 1,421,328 shares during the last quarter.

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 or ADESA), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC).

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