First Trust Advisors LP raised its holdings in Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD – Get Rating) by 8.6% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 41,805 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 3,325 shares during the quarter. First Trust Advisors LP owned 0.15% of Lithia Motors worth $8,559,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in LAD. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Lithia Motors by 5.9% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 62,174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,339,000 after purchasing an additional 3,445 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in Lithia Motors by 32.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,618 shares of the company’s stock valued at $743,000 after buying an additional 879 shares during the period. Pallas Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter worth approximately $960,000. ExodusPoint Capital Management LP increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 366.1% during the third quarter. ExodusPoint Capital Management LP now owns 6,269 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,345,000 after purchasing an additional 4,924 shares during the period. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 13.1% during the fourth quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 5,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,131,000 after purchasing an additional 649 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 98.21% of the company’s stock.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of brokerages have recently weighed in on LAD. Guggenheim lowered their target price on Lithia Motors from $332.00 to $320.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 20th. TheStreet raised Lithia Motors from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 1st. Wells Fargo & Company raised their target price on Lithia Motors from $233.00 to $262.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, February 16th. Finally, StockNews.com initiated coverage on Lithia Motors in a report on Thursday, May 18th. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Lithia Motors currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $300.56.
Lithia Motors Trading Up 0.6 %
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD – Get Rating) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 19th. The company reported $8.44 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $8.79 by ($0.35). The company had revenue of $6.97 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.28 billion. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 22.34% and a net margin of 3.99%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $11.96 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Lithia Motors, Inc. will post 34.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Lithia Motors Increases Dividend
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 12th will be given a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 11th. This is a positive change from Lithia Motors’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.85%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 4.90%.
Insider Transactions at Lithia Motors
In other news, insider George N. Hines sold 1,490 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $219.55, for a total value of $327,129.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 5,142 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,128,926.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In other news, Director Shauna Mcintyre sold 167 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $260.00, for a total value of $43,420.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,672 shares in the company, valued at approximately $434,720. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider George N. Hines sold 1,490 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $219.55, for a total value of $327,129.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 5,142 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,128,926.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 1,857 shares of company stock valued at $415,500. Corporate insiders own 1.90% of the company’s stock.
About Lithia Motors
Lithia Motors, Inc engages in the operation of automotive franchises and retail of new and used vehicles. It operates through the following segments: Domestic, Import and Luxury. The Domestic segment consists of retail automotive franchises that sell new vehicles manufactured by Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford.
- Get a free copy of the StockNews.com research report on Lithia Motors (LAD)
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