Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on shares of Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) in a report released on Wednesday morning. The brokerage issued a hold rating and a $126.00 price target on the stock.

LAD has been the subject of several other research reports. Morgan Stanley reiterated an overweight rating and issued a $116.00 target price (up previously from $106.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and issued a $115.00 target price on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $121.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a neutral rating to an underperform rating and set a $92.00 target price for the company. in a report on Friday, June 16th. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, four have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $116.00.

Shares of Lithia Motors (LAD) traded down 2.07% on Wednesday, hitting $118.30. 89,983 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $110.64 and its 200-day moving average is $97.25. Lithia Motors has a 1-year low of $75.85 and a 1-year high of $123.50. The stock has a market cap of $2.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.26 and a beta of 1.71.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $2.28 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.47 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.45 billion. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.26% and a return on equity of 21.66%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.96 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Lithia Motors will post $8.62 earnings per share for the current year.

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In related news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 65,711 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.77, for a total transaction of $8,001,628.47. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 1,421 shares in the company, valued at $173,035.17. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 81,444 shares of the firm’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 sale, the director now owns 48,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,837,112.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 312,981 shares of company stock valued at $33,812,652 in the last 90 days. 7.85% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LAD. First Trust Advisors LP increased 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 worth $1,745,000 after buying an additional 8,286 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE increased 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 worth $256,000 after buying an additional 174 shares during the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp purchased a new stake in Lithia Motors during the first quarter worth about $622,000. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 10.0% during the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 181,644 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,558,000 after purchasing an additional 16,542 shares during the period. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 11.5% during the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 90,435 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,746,000 after purchasing an additional 9,293 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.47% of the company’s stock.

About Lithia Motors

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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