Lithia Motors (LAD) Upgraded at Stephens

Stephens upgraded shares of Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research report released on Thursday, Benzinga reports. Stephens currently has $132.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $106.00.

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on LAD. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Lithia Motors from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, March 25th. ValuEngine raised shares of Lithia Motors from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. They issued a buy rating and a $110.00 price target on the stock. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $114.13.

Lithia Motors stock traded up $2.18 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $112.28. 13,903 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 262,742. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13, a current ratio of 1.20 and a quick ratio of 0.25. Lithia Motors has a 52 week low of $67.90 and a 52 week high of $110.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.26, a PEG ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 1.19.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The company reported $2.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.15 by $0.29. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.25% and a return on equity of 20.82%. The firm had revenue of $2.85 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.86 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.07 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts predict that Lithia Motors will post 10.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be issued a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 9th. This is an increase from Lithia Motors’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.07%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 11.62%.

In other news, Director Susan O. Cain sold 1,462 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.15, for a total value of $127,413.30. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 10,849 shares in the company, valued at $945,490.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Bryan B. Deboer sold 3,835 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.00, for a total transaction of $345,150.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 153,285 shares in the company, valued at $13,795,650. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.21% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. United Services Automobile Association increased its holdings in Lithia Motors by 121.2% during the third quarter. United Services Automobile Association now owns 8,304 shares of the company’s stock worth $678,000 after buying an additional 4,550 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 23.2% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 606,370 shares of the company’s stock valued at $49,516,000 after purchasing an additional 114,014 shares during the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Lithia Motors in the third quarter valued at $869,000. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 56.6% in the third quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 16,475 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,345,000 after purchasing an additional 5,956 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 35.1% in the third quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 29,799 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,433,000 after purchasing an additional 7,750 shares during the last quarter.

Lithia Motors Company Profile

Lithia Motors, Inc operates automotive franchises, and retails new and used vehicles in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It sells new and used cars, replacement parts, vehicle service contracts, vehicle protection products, and credit insurance products; provides vehicle maintenance, warranty, paint, and repair services; and arranges related financing.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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