Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) – Stock analysts at Jefferies Group upped their Q1 2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Lithia Motors in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. Jefferies Group analyst B. Jordan now forecasts that the company will post earnings per share of $2.18 for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $2.06. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $125.00 price objective on the stock.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $2.28 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.23 by $0.05. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.26% and a return on equity of 21.66%. The company had revenue of $2.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.45 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.96 EPS. Lithia Motors’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.6% on a year-over-year basis.

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A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $116.00 price target (up from $106.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. BidaskClub raised shares of Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $92.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Friday, June 16th. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, June 14th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, May 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lithia Motors currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.17.

Lithia Motors (NYSE LAD) traded up 1.21% on Friday, hitting $104.52. 127,327 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $2.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.60 and a beta of 1.73. Lithia Motors has a 52 week low of $75.85 and a 52 week high of $109.42. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $97.44 and its 200 day moving average is $94.03.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 25th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 11th will be issued a dividend of $0.27 per share. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 9th. Lithia Motors’s payout ratio is 13.01%.

In other Lithia Motors news, CEO Bryan B. Deboer sold 7,466 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.00, for a total transaction of $709,270.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 114,183 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,847,385. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $98.00, for a total transaction of $490,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 79,468 shares in the company, valued at $7,787,864. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 209,296 shares of company stock worth $20,951,694. Insiders own 7.85% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. D.A. Davidson & CO. increased its position in Lithia Motors by 7.3% in the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,104 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after buying an additional 75 shares in the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in Lithia Motors by 9.6% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,198 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 105 shares in the last quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC increased its position in Lithia Motors by 21.1% in the first quarter. Tyers Asset Management LLC now owns 1,288 shares of the company’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 224 shares in the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC increased its position in Lithia Motors by 21.1% in the first quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 1,564 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,000 after buying an additional 272 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its position in Lithia Motors by 10.0% in the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 1,602 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 146 shares in the last quarter. 97.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Lithia Motors Company Profile

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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