Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) Upgraded to Strong-Buy at StockNews.com

StockNews.com upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPIGet Rating) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Friday morning.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut shares of Group 1 Automotive from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and reduced their target price for the company from $240.00 to $200.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 7th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of Group 1 Automotive from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating and reduced their target price for the company from $187.00 to $160.00 in a research report on Friday, May 20th.

NYSE:GPI opened at $166.39 on Friday. Group 1 Automotive has a one year low of $143.00 and a one year high of $212.23. The company has a market cap of $2.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 4.57, a P/E/G ratio of 0.30 and a beta of 1.52. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $175.88 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $181.03. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98, a current ratio of 1.02 and a quick ratio of 0.34.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPIGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 27th. The company reported $10.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $9.45 by $1.36. The company had revenue of $3.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.77 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 4.45% and a return on equity of 38.47%. Group 1 Automotive’s quarterly revenue was up 30.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $5.57 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Group 1 Automotive will post 41.89 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 1st were given a dividend of $0.37 per share. This is a boost from Group 1 Automotive’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 31st. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.89%. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is currently 4.07%.

In other news, CEO Earl J. Hesterberg sold 3,294 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $197.21, for a total value of $649,609.74. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Frank Grese sold 910 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $185.86, for a total transaction of $169,132.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 21,714 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,035,764.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 5,204 shares of company stock valued at $1,000,232 in the last ninety days. 3.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of GPI. HighTower Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the third quarter worth about $1,799,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the third quarter valued at approximately $241,000. Voya Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 0.3% in the third quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 13,999 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,630,000 after buying an additional 48 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 24.8% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 148,315 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,866,000 after buying an additional 29,482 shares during the period. Finally, Man Group plc increased its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 1,813.6% in the third quarter. Man Group plc now owns 48,663 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,143,000 after buying an additional 46,120 shares during the period. 99.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Group 1 Automotive (Get Rating)

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 and insurance contracts; arranges related vehicle financing; and offers automotive maintenance and repair services. It operates primarily in 17 states in the United States; and 35 towns in the United Kingdom.

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