Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) – Jefferies Group upped their Q1 2018 earnings estimates for Lithia Motors in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst B. Jordan now expects that the company will post earnings of $2.14 per share for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $1.88. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Lithia Motors’ Q3 2018 earnings at $2.90 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $2.32 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $3.12 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $3.30 EPS and Q4 2019 earnings at $2.90 EPS.
Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on LAD. Stephens restated a “buy” rating on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Thursday. Buckingham Research lowered their price objective on shares of Lithia Motors from $137.00 to $131.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $139.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Bank of America upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $128.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Finally, KeyCorp restated a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price objective on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Monday, November 13th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $127.86.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 14th. The company reported $2.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.09 by $0.06. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.43% and a return on equity of 20.81%. The business had revenue of $2.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.70 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.86 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.0% compared to the same quarter last year.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LAD. Northern Trust Corp grew its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 2.7% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 322,984 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,436,000 after purchasing an additional 8,352 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 2.2% during the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 28,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,686,000 after purchasing an additional 600 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 13.3% during the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 10,809 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,019,000 after purchasing an additional 1,269 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp grew its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 41.5% during the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 12,469 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,204,000 after purchasing an additional 3,654 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Shelton Capital Management bought a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the 2nd quarter valued at $224,000.
In related news, Director Kenneth E. Roberts sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $124.00, for a total transaction of $620,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 110,064 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,647,936. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Kenneth E. Roberts sold 534 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $122.62, for a total transaction of $65,479.08. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 115,064 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,109,147.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 14,887 shares of company stock worth $1,811,763. Corporate insiders own 7.85% of the company’s stock.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 9th will be given a dividend of $0.27 per share. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 8th. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 11.07%.
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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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