Shell Asset Management Co. Reduces Stock Position in Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD)

Shell Asset Management Co. lessened its stake in shares of Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LADGet Rating) by 12.9% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 1,602 shares of the company’s stock after selling 238 shares during the quarter. Shell Asset Management Co.’s holdings in Lithia Motors were worth $481,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Arizona State Retirement System grew its holdings in Lithia Motors by 0.5% in the 1st quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 8,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,456,000 after buying an additional 43 shares during the period. Factorial Partners LLC grew its holdings in Lithia Motors by 9.1% in the 1st quarter. Factorial Partners LLC now owns 2,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $720,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D grew its holdings in Lithia Motors by 4.8% in the 1st quarter. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D now owns 17,437 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,233,000 after buying an additional 794 shares during the period. Calamos Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Lithia Motors by 77.4% in the 1st quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 28,286 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,490,000 after buying an additional 12,341 shares during the period. Finally, Hallmark Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Lithia Motors by 5.4% in the 1st quarter. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. now owns 943 shares of the company’s stock valued at $283,000 after buying an additional 48 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.83% of the company’s stock.

Lithia Motors Price Performance

Shares of NYSE LAD opened at $271.39 on Thursday. Lithia Motors, Inc. has a twelve month low of $249.20 and a twelve month high of $379.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.59, a quick ratio of 0.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01. The company has a market capitalization of $7.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.37. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $281.83 and a 200-day simple moving average of $297.51.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LADGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 20th. The company reported $12.18 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $12.22 by ($0.04). Lithia Motors had a net margin of 4.82% and a return on equity of 29.61%. The firm had revenue of $7.24 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.22 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $11.12 earnings per share. Lithia Motors’s revenue was up 20.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Lithia Motors, Inc. will post 47.83 earnings per share for the current year.

Lithia Motors Announces Dividend

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 12th will be issued a $0.42 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.62%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 3.92%.

Insider Activity

In related news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 998 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $310.01, for a total transaction of $309,389.98. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 50,779 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,741,997.79. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. In related news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 998 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $310.01, for a total transaction of $309,389.98. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 50,779 shares in the company, valued at approximately $15,741,997.79. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $312.09, for a total value of $1,560,450.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 45,779 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,287,168.11. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 10,998 shares of company stock worth $3,394,840. 1.70% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

LAD has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Company lowered their price target on Lithia Motors from $350.00 to $348.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, July 14th. StockNews.com lowered Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 23rd. Guggenheim lifted their price objective on Lithia Motors from $542.00 to $578.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on Lithia Motors from $260.00 to $220.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price objective on Lithia Motors from $380.00 to $325.00 in a report on Friday, July 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $367.75.

Lithia Motors Profile

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Lithia Motors, Inc operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It offers new and used vehicles; vehicle financing services; warranties, insurance contracts, and vehicle and theft protection services; and automotive repair and maintenance services, as well as sells vehicle body and parts under the Driveway and GreenCars brand names.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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