Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $61.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 8.06% from the stock’s previous close.
Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 28th. TheStreet lowered shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Buckingham Research raised shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, October 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine raised shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Stephens raised shares of Group 1 Automotive from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $95.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, August 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Group 1 Automotive presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $79.80.
NYSE GPI opened at $56.45 on Wednesday. Group 1 Automotive has a 52 week low of $52.41 and a 52 week high of $84.47. The stock has a market cap of $1.10 billion, a PE ratio of 7.30, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.01 and a beta of 2.07. The company has a quick ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14.
Group 1 Automotive announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, October 25th that permits the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, Director Lincoln Pereira sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.45, for a total value of $1,986,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 67,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,356,916.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Darryl M. Burman sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.82, for a total transaction of $119,730.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 62,978 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,026,903.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 4.95% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 3.0% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 846,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $53,300,000 after purchasing an additional 24,446 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management boosted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 22.9% in the 3rd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 804,044 shares of the company’s stock worth $52,182,000 after purchasing an additional 149,800 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 625,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,404,000 after purchasing an additional 17,350 shares during the period. Towle & Co. boosted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 3.0% in the 3rd quarter. Towle & Co. now owns 398,889 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,888,000 after purchasing an additional 11,790 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 394,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,594,000 after purchasing an additional 5,049 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.86% of the company’s stock.
Group 1 Automotive Company Profile
Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. It sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts; arranges vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; and provides automotive maintenance and repair services. The company has operations primarily in the metropolitan areas of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States; 28 towns in the United Kingdom; and in the metropolitan markets of Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Santa Catarina, Brazil.
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