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Genuine Parts Company (GPC) Trading 0.5% Higher on Analyst Upgrade

Genuine Parts Company (NYSE:GPC) shot up 0.5% on Tuesday after Zacks Investment Research upgraded the stock from a sell rating to a hold rating. The company traded as high as $97.65 and last traded at $93.70. 1,055,022 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 6% from the average session volume of 994,766 shares. The stock had previously closed at $93.22.

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According to Zacks, “Genuine Parts has been undertaking various initiatives to boost sales and earnings, such as product line expansion, penetration into new markets, cost-saving activities, share repurchases and acquisitions. Also, Genuine Parts frequently resorts to acquisitions to expand its business. Moreover, it undertakes share repurchases and dividend payments to boost shareholder value. However, it is expected to face a short-term liquidity crisis at the time of declining sales, as most ofthe current asset is locked in its merchandised inventory. Also, a continuous rise in selling, administrative & other expenses will create a further pressure on the financials of the company. Genuine Parts shares have also underperformed the industry it belongs to, in the last three months.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price objective on shares of Genuine Parts from $85.00 to $98.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a report on Tuesday. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Genuine Parts from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Wedbush restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Genuine Parts in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Gabelli upgraded shares of Genuine Parts from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $101.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, July 21st. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $95.00 price objective on shares of Genuine Parts in a report on Sunday, September 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $96.33.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Genuine Parts by 8.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,716,092 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,457,825,000 after purchasing an additional 1,273,864 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Genuine Parts by 1.4% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,648,183 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,451,526,000 after acquiring an additional 218,851 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its position in Genuine Parts by 0.7% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 8,733,760 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $810,144,000 after acquiring an additional 61,398 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in Genuine Parts by 13.9% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 7,150,904 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $663,318,000 after acquiring an additional 874,466 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec raised its position in Genuine Parts by 3.9% during the first quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 2,121,415 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $196,253,000 after acquiring an additional 80,600 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.46% of the company’s stock.

The stock has a market cap of $13.74 billion, a PE ratio of 20.26 and a beta of 1.06. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $83.87 and a 200-day moving average of $89.04.

Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The specialty retailer reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.31 by ($0.02). Genuine Parts had a net margin of 4.37% and a return on equity of 21.05%. The business had revenue of $4.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.05 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.28 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Genuine Parts Company will post $4.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.675 per share. This represents a $2.70 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 7th. Genuine Parts’s dividend payout ratio is 58.32%.

Genuine Parts declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, August 21st that permits the company to buyback 15,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the specialty retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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Genuine Parts Company Profile

Genuine Parts Company is a service organization engaged in the distribution of automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products and electrical/electronic materials. The Company’s segments include Automotive, Industrial, Office Products Group, Electrical/Electronic Materials and Other.