Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) Trading 8.3% Higher on Analyst Upgrade

Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD)’s share price traded up 8.3% during mid-day trading on Thursday after Craig Hallum raised their price target on the stock from $260.00 to $300.00. Craig Hallum currently has a buy rating on the stock. Lithia Motors traded as high as $248.38 and last traded at $246.77. 2,596,231 shares were traded during mid-day trading, an increase of 686% from the average session volume of 330,292 shares. The stock had previously closed at $227.94.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on LAD. Benchmark increased their target price on Lithia Motors from $240.00 to $285.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 27th. Guggenheim raised their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $233.00 to $275.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 12th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, August 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on shares of Lithia Motors from $240.00 to $280.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 28th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Lithia Motors from $180.00 to $250.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 27th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $240.14.

In other Lithia Motors news, SVP Thomas Dobry sold 2,321 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $241.43, for a total value of $560,359.03. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 11,520 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $235.00, for a total value of $2,707,200.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 53,055 shares in the company, valued at $12,467,925. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 30,464 shares of company stock valued at $7,596,831. 3.95% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in LAD. Glenmede Trust Co. NA lifted its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 49.1% in the 2nd quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 346 shares of the company’s stock valued at $52,000 after purchasing an additional 114 shares during the period. Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC bought a new stake in shares of Lithia Motors during the 2nd quarter valued at $76,000. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 43.6% during the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 1,005 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 305 shares in the last quarter. Maverick Capital Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Lithia Motors in the 1st quarter worth about $168,000. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 17.0% in the 1st quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,565 shares of the company’s stock worth $210,000 after acquiring an additional 372 shares in the last quarter.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.30 and a current ratio of 1.20. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.37 and a beta of 1.81. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $244.83 and a 200 day moving average price of $158.47.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 22nd. The company reported $3.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $2.18. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 19.36% and a net margin of 2.28%. The business had revenue of $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.32 billion. As a group, research analysts forecast that Lithia Motors Inc will post 13.82 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

About Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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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