KAR Auction Services’ (KAR) “Hold” Rating Reiterated at Stephens

Stephens restated their hold rating on shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) in a report released on Thursday. They currently have a $60.00 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock.

“We expect revenue and EBITDA y/y growth to go positive in 3Q as the PR hurricane effects dissipate and expect an optically very strong 4Q financial result (including 20+% EBITDA growth) as the company laps the unfortunate PR hurricane issues. Post results we conservatively tweaked our ’19 and beyond capex moderately higher, updated currencies and reduced our target EBITDA multiple in our DCF from 7.5 to 7.25X and moved to YE’19 target price, which led to no change in our $26 target price. LILAK STILL FEELS LIKE THE REST OF CABLE = A ’19 STORY- LILAK is poised to see a nice acceleration in results in 2H (4Q in particular as we assume they generate +20+% EBITDA growth as they comp the worst of the hurricane effects) as they begin to fully recover from the PR hurricane issues, continued strong growth at VTR and synergies/improvements at the CWC acquisition.”,” the firm’s analyst wrote.

Several other brokerages have also commented on KAR. Gabelli lowered KAR Auction Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Barrington Research reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a report on Monday, May 7th. SunTrust Banks set a $70.00 price objective on KAR Auction Services and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday. ValuEngine raised KAR Auction Services from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered KAR Auction Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, May 16th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $60.89.

Shares of KAR traded down $0.27 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $61.91. The stock had a trading volume of 905,140 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,101,350. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.76, a current ratio of 1.31 and a quick ratio of 1.30. KAR Auction Services has a 12 month low of $42.44 and a 12 month high of $62.56. The firm has a market capitalization of $8.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.76, a PEG ratio of 1.71 and a beta of 1.06.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 7th. The specialty retailer reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.80 by $0.02. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 26.15% and a net margin of 11.50%. The company had revenue of $956.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $923.01 million. analysts expect that KAR Auction Services will post 2.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Thursday, September 20th will be given a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 19th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.26%. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 56.00%.

In related news, EVP Lisa A. Price sold 8,749 shares of KAR Auction Services stock in a transaction on Monday, July 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.01, for a total transaction of $525,027.49. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 10,000 shares of KAR Auction Services stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.39, for a total value of $533,900.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 167,018 shares of company stock worth $9,472,886 over the last quarter. 1.29% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 235.7% in the second quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 10,269 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $562,000 after acquiring an additional 7,210 shares in the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR lifted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 56.2% in the second quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 6,185 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $339,000 after acquiring an additional 2,225 shares in the last quarter. Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of KAR Auction Services in the second quarter valued at about $2,270,000. Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 2.7% in the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 969,681 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $53,138,000 after acquiring an additional 25,370 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 11.4% in the second quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 49,728 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $2,725,000 after acquiring an additional 5,105 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.58% 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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