Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) Downgraded by Bank of America to Neutral

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Bank of America lowered shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note released on Friday morning, BenzingaRatingsTable reports.

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on ABG. Craig Hallum increased their target price on Asbury Automotive Group from $90.00 to $110.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Asbury Automotive Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $103.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Asbury Automotive Group from $86.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. ValuEngine cut Asbury Automotive Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their target price on Asbury Automotive Group from $85.00 to $88.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, July 9th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $90.00.

Asbury Automotive Group stock opened at $100.33 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.97 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.32, a PEG ratio of 0.77 and a beta of 1.25. Asbury Automotive Group has a 52-week low of $58.60 and a 52-week high of $103.92. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $92.77 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $80.86. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.68, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a current ratio of 1.20.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 26th. The company reported $2.38 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.27 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $1.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.80 billion. Asbury Automotive Group had a return on equity of 35.08% and a net margin of 2.57%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $2.08 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Asbury Automotive Group will post 9.31 EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP William Frederick Stax sold 424 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.35, for a total value of $38,308.40. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 3,464 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $312,972.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Thomas C. Deloach, Jr. sold 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.71, for a total value of $733,680.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 17,703 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,623,542.13. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 12,324 shares of company stock worth $1,129,466. 1.36% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABG. Artemis Investment Management LLP raised its position in Asbury Automotive Group by 131.2% in the 2nd quarter. Artemis Investment Management LLP now owns 160,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,509,000 after buying an additional 91,200 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its position in Asbury Automotive Group by 53.6% in the 1st quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 212,732 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,755,000 after buying an additional 74,201 shares during the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Asbury Automotive Group in the 2nd quarter valued at $5,598,000. Origin Asset Management LLP raised its position in Asbury Automotive Group by 1,305.4% in the 1st quarter. Origin Asset Management LLP now owns 57,060 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,958,000 after buying an additional 53,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Spark Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in Asbury Automotive Group in the 1st quarter valued at $3,301,000.

About Asbury Automotive Group

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. It offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles; and vehicle repair and maintenance services, replacement parts, and collision repair services.

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Analyst Recommendations for Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG)

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