KAR Auction Services (KAR) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $64.00 target price on the specialty retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 12.58% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “KAR Auction Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a used vehicle and salvage auto auction company in North America. The company operates in three segments: ADESA, IAAI, and AFC. The ADESA segment provides whole car auctions and related services to commercial fleet operators, financial institutions, rental car companies, used vehicle dealers, vehicle manufacturers and their captive finance companies, and franchised and independent used vehicle dealers. This segment also provides value-added ancillary services, such as inspections, storage, transportation, reconditioning and titling, and other administrative services. The IAAI segment offers salvage vehicle auctions and related services. The AFC segment offers short-term and inventory-secured financing, known as floorplan financing, to independent used vehicle dealers. KAR Auction Services, Inc. is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. “

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on KAR. ValuEngine raised shares of KAR Auction Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 5th. Stephens reissued a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Gabelli lowered shares of KAR Auction Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Robert W. Baird boosted their price objective on shares of KAR Auction Services from $62.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, SunTrust Banks set a $70.00 price objective on shares of KAR Auction Services and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. KAR Auction Services currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $61.88.

KAR stock opened at $56.85 on Wednesday. KAR Auction Services has a 12-month low of $46.50 and a 12-month high of $64.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.74, a PEG ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 1.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.76, a quick ratio of 1.31 and a current ratio of 1.31.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The specialty retailer reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $956.60 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $923.01 million. KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 11.50% and a return on equity of 26.15%. As a group, equities analysts predict that KAR Auction Services will post 3 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO James P. Hallett sold 150,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.11, for a total value of $9,316,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.53, for a total transaction of $615,300.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 277,560 shares of company stock valued at $17,295,354. Corporate insiders own 1.29% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Legal & General Group Plc increased its stake in shares of KAR Auction Services by 1.1% in the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 97,305 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $5,333,000 after purchasing an additional 1,013 shares in the last quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 0.9% during the first quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 122,908 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $6,594,000 after acquiring an additional 1,079 shares during the last quarter. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV boosted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 15.2% during the first quarter. Massmutual Trust Co. FSB ADV now owns 8,829 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $479,000 after acquiring an additional 1,168 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. boosted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 16.7% during the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 11,511 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $630,000 after acquiring an additional 1,651 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Twin Tree Management LP boosted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 6.3% during the second quarter. Twin Tree Management LP now owns 29,610 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,623,000 after acquiring an additional 1,762 shares during the last quarter. 99.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About KAR Auction Services

KAR Auction Services, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides used car auction and salvage auction services in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. The company operates through three segments: ADESA Auctions, IAA, and AFC. The ADESA Auctions segment offers whole car auctions and related services to the vehicle remarketing industry through online auctions and auction facilities.

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