KAR Auction Services, Inc (NYSE:KAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “KAR Auction Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a used vehicle and salvage auto auction company in North America. The company operates in three segments: ADESA, IAAI, and AFC. The ADESA segment provides whole car auctions and related services to commercial fleet operators, financial institutions, rental car companies, used vehicle dealers, vehicle manufacturers and their captive finance companies, and franchised and independent used vehicle dealers. This segment also provides value-added ancillary services, such as inspections, storage, transportation, reconditioning and titling, and other administrative services. The IAAI segment offers salvage vehicle auctions and related services. The AFC segment offers short-term and inventory-secured financing, known as floorplan financing, to independent used vehicle dealers. KAR Auction Services, Inc. is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. “

KAR has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub cut KAR Auction Services from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Gabelli assumed coverage on KAR Auction Services in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $62.00 price target for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. KAR Auction Services currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $54.33.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE KAR) traded up 1.15% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $43.04. 1,284,885 shares of the stock traded hands. KAR Auction Services has a 12 month low of $38.16 and a 12 month high of $47.03. The stock has a market cap of $5.86 billion, a PE ratio of 26.40 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a 50-day moving average of $41.68 and a 200-day moving average of $43.43.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The specialty retailer reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $858 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $850.67 million. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 21.56% and a net margin of 6.83%. KAR Auction Services’s quarterly revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.55 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that KAR Auction Services will post $2.24 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, CEO John W. Kett sold 10,008 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.06, for a total value of $420,936.48. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 58,941 shares in the company, valued at $2,479,058.46. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO John W. Kett sold 10,011 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.01, for a total value of $420,562.11. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 65,982 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,771,903.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 29,932 shares of company stock valued at $1,276,878 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of KAR. Acrospire Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter worth approximately $118,000. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 7.2% in the first quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 2,830 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the period. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 378.4% in the first quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,966 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 2,346 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co acquired a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter worth approximately $150,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the first quarter worth approximately $162,000.

KAR Auction Services Company Profile

KAR Auction Services, Inc is a provider of whole car auction services in North America, and salvage auction services in North America and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: ADESA, Inc (ADESA Auctions or ADESA), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC).

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