KAR Auction Services, Inc (NYSE:KAR) was downgraded by equities researchers at Stephens from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note issued on Thursday. They presently have a $48.00 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock, down from their prior price target of $51.00. Stephens’ target price would indicate a potential upside of 6.48% from the company’s previous close.

KAR has been the topic of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research cut KAR Auction Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. BidaskClub cut KAR Auction Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Finally, Gabelli assumed coverage on KAR Auction Services in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $62.00 target price on the stock. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $53.67.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) opened at 45.08 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.66 and a beta of 1.10. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $43.47 and a 200 day moving average price of $43.28. KAR Auction Services has a 12 month low of $38.16 and a 12 month high of $47.03.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The specialty retailer reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.07. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 21.46% and a net margin of 6.83%. The firm had revenue of $858 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $850.67 million. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.55 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that KAR Auction Services will post $2.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.68, for a total value of $436,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO John W. Kett sold 10,008 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.06, for a total transaction of $420,936.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 58,941 shares in the company, valued at $2,479,058.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 30,039 shares of company stock worth $1,279,186 over the last ninety days. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Archford Capital Strategies LLC lifted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 832.0% in the 2nd quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 932 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 832 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in KAR Auction Services in the 2nd quarter valued at about $118,000. Toronto Dominion Bank lifted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 7.2% in the 1st quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 2,830 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 190 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 378.4% in the 1st quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,966 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 2,346 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CENTRAL TRUST Co purchased a new position in KAR Auction Services in the 2nd quarter valued at about $150,000. 99.95% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

KAR Auction Services Company Profile

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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