BlackRock Inc. decreased its position in shares of Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI) by 3.1% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,700,264 shares of the company’s stock after selling 87,816 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned 14.08% of Group 1 Automotive worth $142,359,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Rafferty Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the third quarter valued at about $256,000. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Group 1 Automotive in the third quarter worth about $277,000. Algert Global LLC bought a new position in Group 1 Automotive in the third quarter worth about $357,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund bought a new position in Group 1 Automotive in the fourth quarter worth about $365,000. Finally, Cim Investment Mangement Inc. bought a new position in Group 1 Automotive in the fourth quarter worth about $438,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.93% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on GPI shares. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $67.00 to $77.00 in a report on Monday, March 4th. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on Group 1 Automotive in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine lowered Group 1 Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Friday, February 8th. Morgan Stanley set a $55.00 target price on Group 1 Automotive and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Group 1 Automotive in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $77.00 target price on the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $73.67.
Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported $2.31 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.28 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $2.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.83 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a return on equity of 15.31% and a net margin of 1.36%. The firm’s revenue was down .7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.11 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Group 1 Automotive, Inc. will post 9.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Group 1 Automotive declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 21st that allows the company to buyback $75.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
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Group 1 Automotive Company Profile
Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. The company sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts, as well as service insurance contracts; arranges related vehicle financing; and offers automotive maintenance and repair services. It has operations primarily in the metropolitan areas in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States; 32 towns in the United Kingdom; and metropolitan markets in the states of Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Santa Catarina, Brazil.
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