Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD) Shares Down 8.7% After Insider Selling

Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD)’s share price dropped 8.7% on Friday after an insider sold shares in the company. The stock traded as low as $87.14 and last traded at $88.57, with a volume of 772,965 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $96.98.

Specifically, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 35,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.00, for a total value of $3,395,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 79,625 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,723,625. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Susan O. Cain sold 2,317 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.49, for a total transaction of $214,299.33. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 12,242 shares in the company, valued at $1,132,262.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 86,300 shares of company stock worth $8,311,241 over the last ninety days. 7.85% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

LAD has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Lithia Motors from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Lithia Motors from $115.00 to $106.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $115.00 price objective on shares of Lithia Motors and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 16th. Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Finally, Bank of America Corporation cut shares of Lithia Motors from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $92.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Friday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. Lithia Motors presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $105.83.

The company has a 50 day moving average of $92.01 and a 200 day moving average of $94.44. The firm has a market cap of $2.22 billion, a PE ratio of 10.82 and a beta of 1.65.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 19th. The company reported $1.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.77 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $2.24 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.22 billion. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.32% and a return on equity of 21.91%. The business’s revenue was up 12.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.55 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Lithia Motors, Inc. will post $8.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 12th were issued a dividend of $0.27 per share. This is a boost from Lithia Motors’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.22%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 10th. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 13.19%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 152,203.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,901,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $248,504,000 after buying an additional 2,899,477 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC acquired a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter worth about $19,002,000. Park West Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 30.2% in the first quarter. Park West Asset Management LLC now owns 828,214 shares of the company’s stock worth $70,937,000 after buying an additional 192,280 shares in the last quarter. Westfield Capital Management Co. LP acquired a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the first quarter worth about $15,225,000. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 17.4% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,175,507 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,682,000 after buying an additional 174,277 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.15% of the company’s stock.

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About Lithia Motors

Lithia Motors, Inc is an operator of automotive franchises and a retailer of new and used vehicles and related services. As of February 28, 2017, it offered 30 brands of new vehicles and all brands of used vehicles in 154 stores in the United States and online at Lithia.com, DCHauto.com and CarboneCars.com.

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