Franklin Resources Inc. lessened its position in shares of Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) by 12.0% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 312,459 shares of the company’s stock after selling 42,643 shares during the quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. owned approximately 1.30% of Lithia Motors worth $29,443,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can lifted its holdings in Lithia Motors by 8.5% during the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 33,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,842,000 after purchasing an additional 2,599 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its holdings in Lithia Motors by 68.5% during the first quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 20,379 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,745,000 after purchasing an additional 8,286 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE lifted its holdings in Lithia Motors by 6.2% during the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,994 shares of the company’s stock valued at $256,000 after purchasing an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new position in Lithia Motors during the first quarter valued at $622,000. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP purchased a new position in Lithia Motors during the first quarter valued at $231,000. Institutional investors own 98.47% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on the stock. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $92.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Friday, June 16th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Lithia Motors from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $121.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 price objective on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $112.00.

In related news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 17,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.63, for a total value of $1,700,688.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 75,068 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,253,820.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 81,444 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.39, for a total transaction of $8,094,719.16. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 48,668 shares in the company, valued at $4,837,112.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 219,870 shares of company stock worth $22,252,261 over the last quarter. Insiders own 7.85% of the company’s stock.

Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD) opened at 112.15 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.52 and a beta of 1.73. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $105.51 and a 200 day moving average of $95.19. Lithia Motors, Inc. has a 1-year low of $75.85 and a 1-year high of $114.58.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $2.28 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.05. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.26% and a return on equity of 21.66%. The business had revenue of $2.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.45 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.96 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Lithia Motors, Inc. will post $8.62 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, August 25th. Investors of record on Friday, August 11th were given a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 9th. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.96%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio is presently 13.01%.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION WARNING: “Franklin Resources Inc. Has $29.44 Million Position in Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD)” was first reported by The Cerbat Gem and is owned by of The Cerbat Gem. If you are viewing this report on another website, it was copied illegally and republished in violation of United States and international copyright law. The correct version of this report can be viewed at https://www.thecerbatgem.com/2017/09/19/franklin-resources-inc-has-29-44-million-position-in-lithia-motors-inc-lad.html.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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