Guggenheim Lowers Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) to Neutral

Guggenheim lowered shares of Lithia Motors (NYSE:LADFree Report) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, MarketBeat.com reports.

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on LAD. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $220.00 to $230.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a research note on Thursday, February 29th. Citigroup lowered their price target on Lithia Motors from $320.00 to $280.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Stephens reaffirmed an overweight rating and issued a $375.00 price objective on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. The Goldman Sachs Group increased their target price on Lithia Motors from $300.00 to $334.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, StockNews.com raised Lithia Motors from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $318.55.

Check Out Our Latest Report on Lithia Motors

Lithia Motors Stock Performance

Lithia Motors stock opened at $266.97 on Friday. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $273.89 and a 200-day simple moving average of $284.69. The stock has a market cap of $7.32 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 1.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17, a current ratio of 1.17 and a quick ratio of 0.28. Lithia Motors has a 1-year low of $227.41 and a 1-year high of $331.96.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LADGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 24th. The company reported $6.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $7.85 by ($1.74). The company had revenue of $8.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.58 billion. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.87% and a return on equity of 15.62%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 22.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $8.44 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Lithia Motors will post 28.78 EPS for the current year.

Lithia Motors Increases Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Investors of record on Friday, May 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.53 per share. This represents a $2.12 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.79%. This is a positive change from Lithia Motors’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 6.26%.

Insider Activity

In other Lithia Motors news, Director Shauna Mcintyre sold 138 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $254.42, for a total value of $35,109.96. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,228 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $566,847.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 1.79% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Trading of Lithia Motors

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Denali Advisors LLC boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 5,050.0% during the 4th quarter. Denali Advisors LLC now owns 103 shares of the company’s stock valued at $34,000 after purchasing an additional 101 shares during the period. Allspring Global Investments Holdings LLC bought a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the third quarter worth about $32,000. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC increased its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 509.5% in the 3rd quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 128 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,000 after acquiring an additional 107 shares during the period. GAMMA Investing LLC bought a new stake in Lithia Motors in the 4th quarter valued at about $49,000. Finally, Rise Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Lithia Motors by 80.2% during the 1st quarter. Rise Advisors LLC now owns 191 shares of the company’s stock valued at $57,000 after purchasing an additional 85 shares during the period.

Lithia Motors Company Profile

(Get Free Report)

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.

Further Reading

Analyst Recommendations for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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