Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive Inc. (NYSE:GPI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $69.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Group 1 Automotive has been gaining from numerous acquisitions and the rising sales of new vehicles. Also, it remains focused on returning value to shareholders through share repurchases and dividend payments. However, dependence on certain auto manufacturers and intensifying competition in the automotive market remain concerns. Group 1 Automotive’s earnings estimates have been stable lately. The company has a mixed record of surprises in recent quarters.”
Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a report on Tuesday, August 9th. They issued a neutral rating on the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, September 15th. Finally, Buckingham Research upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Group 1 Automotive currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $78.33.
Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) opened at 61.50 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $60.19 and its 200-day moving average is $58.68. Group 1 Automotive has a 12 month low of $47.31 and a 12 month high of $89.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.27 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.45 and a beta of 1.63.
Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $2.16 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.07. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 0.82% and a return on equity of 17.97%. The firm had revenue of $2.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.86 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.98 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Group 1 Automotive will post $7.54 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 1st were paid a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.50%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 30th. Group 1 Automotive’s payout ratio is currently 22.66%.
In related news, CEO Earl J. Hesterberg sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.97, for a total transaction of $599,700.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 165,251 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,910,102.47. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Peter C. Delongchamps sold 7,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.22, for a total transaction of $459,150.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 7.00% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. purchased a new stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive during the first quarter worth approximately $26,106,000. UBS Group AG increased its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 395.3% in the first quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 294,271 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,270,000 after buying an additional 234,855 shares in the last quarter. Lakewood Capital Management LP increased its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 62.1% in the second quarter. Lakewood Capital Management LP now owns 443,625 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,897,000 after buying an additional 170,000 shares in the last quarter. Towle & Co. increased its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 125.7% in the second quarter. Towle & Co. now owns 265,491 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,105,000 after buying an additional 147,850 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 131.7% in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 219,234 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,867,000 after buying an additional 124,602 shares in the last quarter. 97.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Group 1 Automotive Company Profile
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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