Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) Upgraded to Buy by StockNews.com

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LADGet Rating) was upgraded by investment analysts at StockNews.com from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Saturday.

LAD has been the topic of a number of other reports. Guggenheim boosted their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $542.00 to $578.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on shares of Lithia Motors from $300.00 to $260.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, May 20th. Wells Fargo & Company dropped their price target on shares of Lithia Motors from $362.00 to $350.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price target on shares of Lithia Motors from $425.00 to $380.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, Lithia Motors presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $425.83.

LAD opened at $270.11 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.42, a current ratio of 1.38 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The stock has a market cap of $7.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.43, a PEG ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 1.48. Lithia Motors has a twelve month low of $252.56 and a twelve month high of $387.63. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $292.80 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $301.31.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LADGet Rating) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 20th. The company reported $11.96 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $9.63 by $2.33. The firm had revenue of $6.71 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.34 billion. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 4.95% and a return on equity of 29.65%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 54.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $5.89 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Lithia Motors will post 46.96 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $312.09, for a total value of $1,560,450.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 45,779 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,287,168.11. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 998 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $310.01, for a total transaction of $309,389.98. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 50,779 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,741,997.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 10,998 shares of company stock worth $3,394,840 in the last ninety days. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of LAD. FMR LLC increased its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 6,081.4% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 205,098 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,022,000 after buying an additional 201,780 shares during the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 33.0% during the 3rd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 867 shares of the company’s stock valued at $276,000 after purchasing an additional 215 shares during the last quarter. Dark Forest Capital Management LP bought a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the 3rd quarter valued at $89,000. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 66.3% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 82,982 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,309,000 after purchasing an additional 33,071 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California State Teachers Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 50,208 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,918,000 after purchasing an additional 747 shares during the last quarter. 92.83% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Lithia Motors Company Profile (Get Rating)

Lithia Motors, Inc operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It offers new and used vehicles; vehicle financing services; warranties, insurance contracts, and vehicle and theft protection services; and automotive repair and maintenance services, as well as sells vehicle body and parts under the Driveway and GreenCars brand names.

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