Wall Street brokerages expect Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) to announce earnings per share (EPS) of $3.14 for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Three analysts have provided estimates for Lithia Motors’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $3.10 and the highest estimate coming in at $3.23. Lithia Motors posted earnings of $2.83 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 11%. The firm is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 23rd.

On average, analysts expect that Lithia Motors will report full year earnings of $11.26 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $11.09 to $11.46. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will post earnings of $12.55 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $12.00 to $13.74. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that follow Lithia Motors.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 24th. The company reported $2.95 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.87 by $0.08. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 20.74% and a net margin of 2.24%. The company had revenue of $3.22 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.19 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.52 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on LAD shares. Bank of America lowered Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price target 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. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on Lithia Motors from $117.00 to $122.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 9th. Longbow Research reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $132.00 price target on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Sunday, July 7th. Craig Hallum boosted their price target on Lithia Motors from $125.00 to $145.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Lithia Motors from $129.00 to $144.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Lithia Motors presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $124.44.

In other news, Director Susan O. Cain sold 723 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $134.78, for a total value of $97,445.94. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,651 shares in the company, valued at $1,570,321.78. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Louis Miramontes sold 450 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $131.34, for a total value of $59,103.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 2,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $360,659.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 5.21% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in LAD. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in Lithia Motors by 17.8% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,323,683 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,036,000 after purchasing an additional 200,381 shares in the last quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP acquired a new stake in Lithia Motors during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $782,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its stake in Lithia Motors by 16.2% during the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 2,221 shares of the company’s stock valued at $170,000 after acquiring an additional 309 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank acquired a new stake in Lithia Motors during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $262,000. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Lithia Motors during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $16,564,000.

LAD stock traded up $4.01 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $129.63. 164,000 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 314,923. The company has a quick ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 1.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23. Lithia Motors has a 1-year low of $67.90 and a 1-year high of $139.18. The company’s fifty day moving average price is $124.77 and its 200-day moving average price is $107.22. The firm has a market cap of $2.92 billion, a PE ratio of 12.99, a P/E/G ratio of 0.94 and a beta of 1.11.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 9th will be issued a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 8th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 12.02%.

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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