Russell Investments Group Ltd. reduced its stake in shares of Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) by 5.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 153,995 shares of the company’s stock after selling 8,628 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd.’s holdings in Lithia Motors were worth $14,511,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 152,203.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,901,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $248,504,000 after buying an additional 2,899,477 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 5.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,040,301 shares of the company’s stock valued at $174,751,000 after buying an additional 107,578 shares during the period. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its position in Lithia Motors by 10.4% in the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,466,628 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,617,000 after buying an additional 138,376 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 17.4% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,175,507 shares of the company’s stock valued at $100,682,000 after buying an additional 174,277 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Lithia Motors by 14.0% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 922,561 shares of the company’s stock valued at $79,019,000 after buying an additional 113,357 shares during the period. 97.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD) traded up 1.26% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $104.57. The stock had a trading volume of 120,583 shares. Lithia Motors, Inc. has a 52 week low of $75.85 and a 52 week high of $109.42. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $97.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $94.03. The stock has a market cap of $2.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.60 and a beta of 1.73.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $2.28 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $2.47 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.45 billion. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.26% and a return on equity of 21.66%. The business’s revenue was up 15.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.96 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Lithia Motors, Inc. will post $8.54 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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Several research analysts have commented on LAD shares. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $125.00 price objective on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Seaport Global Securities started coverage on Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. BidaskClub raised Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on Lithia Motors from $115.00 to $106.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Lithia Motors presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $109.17.

In other Lithia Motors news, Director Susan O. Cain sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.64, for a total transaction of $105,640.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 12,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,293,244.88. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The stock was 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,787,864. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 209,296 shares of company stock valued at $20,951,694. Company insiders own 7.85% of the company’s stock.

About Lithia Motors

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.

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

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