TheStreet upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive Inc. (NYSE:GPI) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday morning.

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on GPI. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Group 1 Automotive from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 12th. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. They set a neutral rating for the company. Finally, Buckingham Research upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 20th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Group 1 Automotive has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $83.00.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) opened at 59.85 on Thursday. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $60.15 and a 200-day moving average of $58.53. Group 1 Automotive has a 52-week low of $47.31 and a 52-week high of $89.64. The stock has a market cap of $1.24 billion, a PE ratio of 15.04 and a beta of 1.63.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $2.16 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.07. The firm earned $2.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.86 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 0.82% and a return on equity of 17.97%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.98 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Group 1 Automotive will post $7.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 1st were given a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 30th. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.54%. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 22.66%.

In other Group 1 Automotive news, CEO Earl J. Hesterberg sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.97, for a total transaction of $599,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 165,251 shares in the company, valued at $9,910,102.47. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Darryl M. Burman sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.90, for a total transaction of $117,800.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 72,633 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,278,083.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 7.00% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC raised its position in Group 1 Automotive by 1,050.0% in the second quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC now owns 2,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC acquired a new position in Group 1 Automotive during the second quarter valued at approximately $122,000. Societe Generale acquired a new position in Group 1 Automotive during the second quarter valued at approximately $134,000. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in Group 1 Automotive during the second quarter valued at approximately $134,000. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Group 1 Automotive by 77.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,522 shares of the company’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 1,099 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 97.19% of the company’s stock.

Group 1 Automotive Company Profile

Group 1 Automotive, Inc is an operator in the automotive retail industry. The Company, through its dealerships, sells new and used cars and light trucks; arranges related vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; provides automotive maintenance and repair services, and sells vehicle parts.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:GPI

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