Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning. The firm currently has $75.00 price objective on the stock.

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. “

Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, October 6th. SunTrust Banks initiated coverage on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a research note on Friday, August 24th. They issued a hold rating and a $78.00 target price for the company. Buckingham Research downgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Wednesday, October 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and upped their target price for the company from $63.00 to $71.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $71.40.

Shares of ABG stock opened at $67.96 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.33 billion, a PE ratio of 10.57, a PEG ratio of 0.53 and a beta of 1.47. The company has a quick ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 1.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.77. Asbury Automotive Group has a twelve month low of $58.60 and a twelve month high of $77.75.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The company reported $2.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.88 by $0.33. The business had revenue of $1.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.68 billion. Asbury Automotive Group had a net margin of 2.52% and a return on equity of 37.83%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 9.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.48 earnings per share. On average, research analysts predict that Asbury Automotive Group will post 8.09 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Thomas C. Deloach, Jr. sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.97, for a total value of $1,124,550.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 68,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,146,840.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Thomas C. Deloach, Jr. sold 10,616 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.75, for a total transaction of $793,546.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 68,652 shares in the company, valued at $5,131,737. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 27,116 shares of company stock worth $2,030,191 over the last ninety days. 1.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY raised its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 43.0% in the second quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 6,657 shares of the company’s stock valued at $456,000 after acquiring an additional 2,001 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 3.1% during the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 266,959 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,300,000 after purchasing an additional 8,081 shares during the period. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its holdings in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 2.4% during the second quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 124,860 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,559,000 after purchasing an additional 2,877 shares during the period. GAM Holding AG acquired a new stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group during the second quarter worth $601,000. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 2.2% during the second quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 51,188 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,512,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the period.

About Asbury Automotive Group

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc 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, replacement parts, and collision repair services. The company also provides finance and insurance products, including arranging vehicle financing through third parties; and aftermarket products, such as extended service contracts, guaranteed asset protection insurance, prepaid maintenance, and credit life and disability insurance.

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