Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its holdings in Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) by 19.7% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 132,159 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 21,760 shares during the period. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC’s holdings in Lithia Motors were worth $12,258,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of LAD. Lakewood Capital Management LP increased its holdings in Lithia Motors by 67.5% in the fourth quarter. Lakewood Capital Management LP now owns 769,169 shares of the company’s stock worth $58,711,000 after purchasing an additional 310,000 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Lithia Motors in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $16,564,000. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in Lithia Motors by 17.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,323,683 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,036,000 after acquiring an additional 200,381 shares during the period. Gotham Asset Management LLC grew its stake in Lithia Motors by 1,272.0% in the fourth quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 102,092 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,793,000 after acquiring an additional 94,651 shares during the period. Finally, Wasatch Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Lithia Motors by 65.0% in the first quarter. Wasatch Advisors Inc. now owns 204,521 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,969,000 after acquiring an additional 80,601 shares during the period.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. Longbow Research assumed coverage on Lithia Motors in a research note on Friday, May 31st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $132.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Lithia Motors from $117.00 to $128.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 6th. Bank of America cut Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $102.00 to $115.00 in a research note on Friday, April 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Buckingham Research raised their price objective on Lithia Motors from $106.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Finally, Craig Hallum reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $125.00 price objective (up previously from $103.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Thursday, April 25th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $118.78.

Shares of NYSE:LAD traded down $2.60 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $115.99. 1,465 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 253,250. The stock has a market cap of $2.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.80, a PEG ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 1.18. The company has a quick ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 1.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04. Lithia Motors Inc has a 12-month low of $67.90 and a 12-month high of $121.96.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The company reported $2.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.15 by $0.29. The company had revenue of $2.85 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.86 billion. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 20.68% and a net margin of 2.25%. Lithia Motors’s quarterly revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.07 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Lithia Motors Inc will post 11.15 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 24th. Investors of record on Friday, May 10th were given a dividend of $0.30 per share. This is a boost from Lithia Motors’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 9th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.03%. Lithia Motors’s payout ratio is presently 12.02%.

In related news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 15,433 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.00, for a total transaction of $1,759,362.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 11,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,270,416. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 5.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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Lithia Motors Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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