KAR Auction Services (KAR) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $64.00 price objective on the specialty retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “KAR Auction Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a used vehicle and salvage auto auction company in North America. The company operates in three segments: ADESA, IAAI, and AFC. The ADESA segment provides whole car auctions and related services to commercial fleet operators, financial institutions, rental car companies, used vehicle dealers, vehicle manufacturers and their captive finance companies, and franchised and independent used vehicle dealers. This segment also provides value-added ancillary services, such as inspections, storage, transportation, reconditioning and titling, and other administrative services. The IAAI segment offers salvage vehicle auctions and related services. The AFC segment offers short-term and inventory-secured financing, known as floorplan financing, to independent used vehicle dealers. KAR Auction Services, Inc. is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. SunTrust Banks set a $70.00 target price on shares of KAR Auction Services and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Barrington Research restated a buy rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Monday, August 6th. Stephens restated a hold rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Gabelli downgraded shares of KAR Auction Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Robert W. Baird upped their target price on shares of KAR Auction Services from $62.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. KAR Auction Services presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $61.88.

KAR stock traded down $0.28 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $56.57. The company had a trading volume of 352,432 shares, compared to its average volume of 802,732. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.76, a current ratio of 1.31 and a quick ratio of 1.31. The company has a market capitalization of $7.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.63, a P/E/G ratio of 1.70 and a beta of 1.13. KAR Auction Services has a 12 month low of $46.50 and a 12 month high of $64.55.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The specialty retailer reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $956.60 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $923.01 million. KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 11.50% and a return on equity of 26.15%. On average, research analysts expect that KAR Auction Services will post 3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, October 3rd. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 20th were issued a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, September 19th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.47%. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio is currently 56.00%.

In related news, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.98, for a total transaction of $629,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO James P. Hallett sold 150,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.11, for a total transaction of $9,316,500.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 277,560 shares of company stock valued at $17,295,354. Corporate insiders own 1.29% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in KAR. Townsend & Associates Inc acquired a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter valued at $120,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter valued at $121,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC grew its position in KAR Auction Services by 1,334.5% during the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,199 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $175,000 after buying an additional 2,976 shares during the period. Iberiabank Corp acquired a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the third quarter valued at $206,000. Finally, Mutual Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter valued at $215,000. Institutional investors own 99.73% of the company’s stock.

About KAR Auction Services

KAR Auction Services, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides used car auction and salvage auction services in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. The company operates through three segments: ADESA Auctions, IAA, and AFC. The ADESA Auctions segment offers whole car auctions and related services to the vehicle remarketing industry through online auctions and auction facilities.

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Analyst Recommendations for KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR)

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