Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. is one of the largest automotive retailers. Asbury offers customers an extensive range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicle sales and related financing and insurance, vehicle maintenance and repair services, replacement parts and service contracts. They sell used vehicles at all franchised dealership locations and stand-alone stores. Used vehicle sales include the sale of used vehicles to individual retail customers and the sale of used vehicles to other dealers at auction. They provide vehicle repair and maintenance services, sell replacement parts, and recondition used vehicles at all of our dealerships. “

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on ABG. Craig Hallum raised Asbury Automotive Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $90.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on Asbury Automotive Group from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research note on Monday. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on Asbury Automotive Group in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. They set a neutral rating and a $82.00 price objective on the stock. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $82.17.

NYSE ABG opened at $80.26 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $1.57 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.54, a P/E/G ratio of 0.64 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a current ratio of 1.19, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83. Asbury Automotive Group has a fifty-two week low of $58.60 and a fifty-two week high of $82.30.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $2.20 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.28. The company had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.67 billion. Asbury Automotive Group had a return on equity of 37.05% and a net margin of 2.43%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.93 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Asbury Automotive Group will post 8.88 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Thomas C. Deloach, Jr. sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total value of $420,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 52,948 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,706,360. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas C. Deloach, Jr. sold 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.67, for a total value of $645,030.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 46,703 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,347,204.01. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 73,599 shares of company stock worth $5,500,979. Corporate insiders own 1.36% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc increased its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 2.0% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 2,021,921 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,007,000 after purchasing an additional 38,717 shares during the period. Peregrine Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 49.7% during the 4th quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 113,001 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,533,000 after purchasing an additional 37,491 shares during the period. Chicago Equity Partners LLC increased its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 95,785 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,385,000 after purchasing an additional 2,700 shares during the period. Federated Investors Inc. PA boosted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 3.3% during the 3rd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 128,925 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,863,000 after acquiring an additional 4,065 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 16.1% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 60,298 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,019,000 after acquiring an additional 8,342 shares in the last quarter.

Asbury Automotive Group Company Profile

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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