Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP Sells 5,460 Shares of Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD)

Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP lessened its stake in Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) by 5.9% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 87,241 shares of the company’s stock after selling 5,460 shares during the period. Lithia Motors comprises about 1.1% of Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP’s holdings, making the stock its 16th largest holding. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP owned approximately 0.38% of Lithia Motors worth $10,362,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter worth about $16,564,000. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Lithia Motors by 6,081.4% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 205,098 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,022,000 after purchasing an additional 201,780 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in Lithia Motors by 17.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,323,683 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,036,000 after purchasing an additional 200,381 shares during the period. Redwood Investments LLC purchased a new stake in Lithia Motors in the second quarter valued at approximately $19,895,000. Finally, Thompson Siegel & Walmsley LLC purchased a new stake in Lithia Motors in the first quarter valued at approximately $11,060,000.

LAD traded down $0.29 during trading on Friday, hitting $128.47. 155,292 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 325,072. The company has a current ratio of 1.16, a quick ratio of 0.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23. Lithia Motors Inc has a 1 year low of $67.90 and a 1 year high of $139.18. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $123.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.87, a P/E/G ratio of 1.01 and a beta of 1.11.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 24th. The company reported $2.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.87 by $0.08. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.24% and a return on equity of 20.74%. The company had revenue of $3.22 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.19 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $2.52 earnings per share. Lithia Motors’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts forecast that Lithia Motors Inc will post 11.14 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 23rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.30 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 8th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.93%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.02%.

In other Lithia Motors news, Director Susan O. Cain sold 723 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $134.78, for a total transaction of $97,445.94. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 11,651 shares in the company, valued at $1,570,321.78. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 5.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on LAD. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $129.00 to $144.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Craig Hallum boosted their target price on Lithia Motors from $125.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 25th. Bank of America lowered Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $102.00 to $115.00 in a research report on Friday, April 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine lowered Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, Buckingham Research lowered Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $120.00 to $125.00 in a research report on Monday, July 8th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lithia Motors presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $124.44.

About Lithia Motors

Lithia Motors, Inc operates automotive franchises, and retails new and used vehicles in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It sells new and used cars, replacement parts, vehicle service contracts, vehicle protection products, and credit insurance products; provides vehicle maintenance, warranty, paint, and repair services; and arranges related financing.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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