Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABGGet Rating) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $173.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 11.35% from the company’s current price.

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. “

ABG has been the topic of several other reports. StockNews.com started coverage on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Asbury Automotive Group from $180.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 8th. Craig Hallum reduced their target price on Asbury Automotive Group from $250.00 to $225.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 16th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price target on Asbury Automotive Group from $225.00 to $200.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, April 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, Asbury Automotive Group has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $206.60.

ABG traded up $0.52 on Wednesday, hitting $155.37. 12,884 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 325,694. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $175.91. Asbury Automotive Group has a 12-month low of $146.43 and a 12-month high of $230.96. The firm has a market cap of $3.60 billion, a PE ratio of 5.84, a PEG ratio of 0.25 and a beta of 1.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.76.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABGGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 15th. The company reported $7.46 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $5.86 by $1.60. Asbury Automotive Group had a net margin of 5.41% and a return on equity of 39.45%. The firm had revenue of $2.65 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $4.44 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 18.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Asbury Automotive Group will post 34.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP Miran Maric sold 233 shares of Asbury Automotive Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $187.79, for a total transaction of $43,755.07. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO David W. Hult sold 23,848 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $195.81, for a total value of $4,669,676.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.72% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ABG. Captrust Financial Advisors increased its stake in Asbury Automotive Group by 2.0% during the third quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 3,026 shares of the company’s stock valued at $595,000 after acquiring an additional 59 shares during the period. Deutsche Bank AG grew its holdings in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 24,605 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,841,000 after purchasing an additional 62 shares during the last quarter. Intrust Bank NA increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 4.9% during the 4th quarter. Intrust Bank NA now owns 1,658 shares of the company’s stock worth $286,000 after purchasing an additional 78 shares in the last quarter. Koshinski Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 55.2% during the 4th quarter. Koshinski Asset Management Inc. now owns 222 shares of the company’s stock valued at $38,000 after purchasing an additional 79 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in Asbury Automotive Group by 1.9% in the third quarter. Mount Yale Investment Advisors LLC now owns 4,651 shares of the company’s stock valued at $915,000 after buying an additional 87 shares in the last quarter. 95.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Asbury Automotive Group (Get Rating)

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc operates as a holding company, which engages in the automotive dealership. Its services include oil change, car brakes, changing tires, check engine light, battery, and wheel alignment. The company was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Duluth, GA.

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