Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $80.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 14.04% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. is one of the largest automotive retailers. Asbury offers customers an extensive range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicle sales and related financing and insurance, vehicle maintenance and repair services, replacement parts and service contracts. They sell used vehicles at all franchised dealership locations and stand-alone stores. Used vehicle sales include the sale of used vehicles to individual retail customers and the sale of used vehicles to other dealers at auction. They provide vehicle repair and maintenance services, sell replacement parts, and recondition used vehicles at all of our dealerships. “

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. SunTrust Banks initiated coverage on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Friday, August 24th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $78.00 price objective for the company. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $63.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.33.

Shares of ABG traded down $1.05 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $70.15. 8,290 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 171,080. Asbury Automotive Group has a fifty-two week low of $54.51 and a fifty-two week high of $77.75. The company has a market capitalization of $1.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.45. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a current ratio of 1.19.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The company reported $2.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.16. Asbury Automotive Group had a net margin of 2.37% and a return on equity of 37.44%. The business had revenue of $1.72 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.67 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.58 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Asbury Automotive Group will post 7.8 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Juanita T. James sold 1,500 shares of Asbury Automotive Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.73, for a total transaction of $112,095.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 8,679 shares in the company, valued at approximately $648,581.67. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Thomas C. Deloach, Jr. sold 15,000 shares of Asbury Automotive Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.97, for a total transaction of $1,124,550.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 68,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,146,840.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 27,386 shares of company stock valued at $2,050,438. 1.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 270,121 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,232,000 after acquiring an additional 718 shares during the period. Swiss National Bank lifted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 3.2% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 32,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,207,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 25.3% during the 2nd quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 5,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $374,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 2.2% during the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 51,188 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,512,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares during the period. Finally, IndexIQ Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 32,405 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,221,000 after acquiring an additional 1,752 shares during the period.

About Asbury Automotive Group

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. It offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles; and vehicle repair and maintenance, replacement parts, and collision repair services. The company also provides finance and insurance products, including arranging vehicle financing through third parties; and aftermarket products, such as extended service contracts, guaranteed asset protection insurance, prepaid maintenance, and credit life and disability insurance.

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