Principal Financial Group Inc. Reduces Holdings in Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD)

Principal Financial Group Inc. lessened its position in shares of Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LADGet Rating) by 1.5% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 102,950 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,614 shares during the quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc.’s holdings in Lithia Motors were worth $30,571,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of LAD. Jackson Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 2.5% during the 4th quarter. Jackson Wealth Management LLC now owns 14,402 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,277,000 after purchasing an additional 353 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 160.9% during the 4th quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 17,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,186,000 after purchasing an additional 10,771 shares during the period. AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 57.0% during the 4th quarter. AlphaCrest Capital Management LLC now owns 9,397 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,790,000 after purchasing an additional 3,413 shares during the period. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 532.1% during the 4th quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 2,813 shares of the company’s stock valued at $835,000 after purchasing an additional 2,368 shares during the period. Finally, Yorktown Management & Research Co Inc raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 17.4% during the 4th quarter. Yorktown Management & Research Co Inc now owns 6,750 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,004,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the period. 92.83% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on LAD shares. StockNews.com started coverage on Lithia Motors in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company decreased their target price on Lithia Motors from $362.00 to $350.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Guggenheim upped their target price on Lithia Motors from $542.00 to $578.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their target price on Lithia Motors from $425.00 to $380.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 7th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Lithia Motors from $303.00 to $300.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 8th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $416.43.

In related news, Director Louis Miramontes sold 250 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $321.03, for a total transaction of $80,257.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, SVP George N. Hines sold 1,820 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $343.09, for a total value of $624,423.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 4,872 shares of company stock valued at $1,575,991 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.70% of the company’s stock.

LAD opened at $299.28 on Friday. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $306.14 and a 200-day moving average price of $304.73. Lithia Motors, Inc. has a 12-month low of $272.20 and a 12-month high of $387.63. The company has a current ratio of 1.38, a quick ratio of 0.42 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.13, a PEG ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 1.49.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LADGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 20th. The company reported $11.96 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $10.09 by $1.87. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 29.65% and a net margin of 4.95%. The firm had revenue of $6.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.34 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $5.89 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 54.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Lithia Motors, Inc. will post 43.15 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 13th will be issued a $0.42 dividend. This is a boost from Lithia Motors’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.56%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 12th. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio is presently 3.33%.

Lithia Motors Profile (Get Rating)

Lithia Motors, Inc operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It offers new and used vehicles; vehicle financing services; warranties, insurance contracts, and vehicle and theft protection services; and automotive repair and maintenance services, as well as sells vehicle body and parts under the Driveway and GreenCars brand names.

See Also

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding LAD? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LADGet Rating).

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

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