Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) Downgraded to “Sell” at StockNews.com

StockNews.com downgraded shares of Lithia Motors (NYSE:LADFree Report) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on LAD. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $220.00 to $230.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research report on Thursday, February 29th. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. They set an outperform rating and a $400.00 target price for the company. Bank of America dropped their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $440.00 to $380.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 29th. The Goldman Sachs Group upped their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $300.00 to $334.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, Stephens reiterated an overweight rating and set a $375.00 target price on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $336.40.

Read Our Latest Analysis on LAD

Lithia Motors Stock Up 0.8 %

Shares of LAD opened at $299.41 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $8.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.25, a PEG ratio of 2.62 and a beta of 1.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.41 and a quick ratio of 0.45. Lithia Motors has a one year low of $205.97 and a one year high of $331.96. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $294.43 and its 200-day simple moving average is $286.40.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LADGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $8.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $8.11 by $0.13. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 3.22% and a return on equity of 17.33%. The firm had revenue of $7.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.95 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $9.05 EPS. Lithia Motors’s revenue was up 10.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Lithia Motors will post 35.27 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Lithia Motors Announces Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 22nd. Investors of record on Saturday, March 9th were given a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.67%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 7th. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio is currently 5.51%.

Insider Buying and Selling

In related news, Director Shauna Mcintyre sold 135 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $297.84, for a total value of $40,208.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 1,662 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $495,010.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.79% of the company’s stock.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Lithia Motors

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. FourThought Financial Partners LLC boosted its stake in Lithia Motors by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. FourThought Financial Partners LLC now owns 1,609 shares of the company’s stock worth $530,000 after purchasing an additional 37 shares during the period. Xponance Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 1.1% during the 4th quarter. Xponance Inc. now owns 3,492 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,150,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. boosted its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 3.3% during the 4th quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,278 shares of the company’s stock worth $262,000 after buying an additional 41 shares during the last quarter. State of Wyoming boosted its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 35.2% during the 2nd quarter. State of Wyoming now owns 196 shares of the company’s stock worth $60,000 after buying an additional 51 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fifth Third Bancorp boosted its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 32.0% during the 3rd quarter. Fifth Third Bancorp now owns 231 shares of the company’s stock worth $68,000 after buying an additional 56 shares during the last quarter.

About Lithia Motors

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Lithia Motors, Inc operates as an automotive retailer worldwide. It operates in two segments, Vehicle Operations and Financing Operations. The company's Vehicle Operations segment sells new and used vehicles; provides parts, repair, and maintenance services; vehicle finance; and insurance products.

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Analyst Recommendations for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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