Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI) was upgraded by equities researchers at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report released on Thursday.

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. TheStreet lowered shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. BidaskClub raised shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $66.00 price target (down from $75.00) on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $68.50.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) opened at 62.30 on Thursday. Group 1 Automotive has a 12 month low of $51.62 and a 12 month high of $83.18. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $57.99 and a 200 day moving average price of $65.11. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.58 and a beta of 1.61.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.99 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $2.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.70 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 1.26% and a return on equity of 15.73%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.16 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Group 1 Automotive will post $7.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Group 1 Automotive declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Friday, May 12th that allows the company to repurchase $75.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 47,561.6% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,537,979 shares of the company’s stock worth $188,015,000 after purchasing an additional 2,532,654 shares in the last quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. lifted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 32.6% in the 1st quarter. KCG Holdings Inc. now owns 4,570 shares of the company’s stock worth $339,000 after purchasing an additional 1,123 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 29,006 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,836,000 after purchasing an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 492.7% in the 1st quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 31,129 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,306,000 after purchasing an additional 25,877 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Seizert Capital Partners LLC purchased a new position in Group 1 Automotive in the 1st quarter worth approximately $2,820,000. 97.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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