KAR Auction Services Inc (KAR) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of KAR Auction Services Inc (NYSE:KAR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Friday.

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. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Wolfe Research began coverage on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Thursday, March 2nd. They set an outperform rating for the company. Gabelli began coverage on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Friday, April 7th. They set a buy rating for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $49.00.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) opened at 42.62 on Friday. KAR Auction Services has a 1-year low of $38.16 and a 1-year high of $47.03. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $42.95 and its 200 day moving average is $43.46. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.67 and a beta of 1.35.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, May 9th. The specialty retailer reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $866.60 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $848.73 million. KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 7.58% and a return on equity of 19.45%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.55 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that KAR Auction Services will post $2.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 6th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 19th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.00%. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio is 79.01%.

In other news, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 18,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.29, for a total value of $802,756.25. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider James E. Money II sold 26,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.45, for a total transaction of $1,182,370.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 6,587 shares in the company, valued at $292,792.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 78,024 shares of company stock valued at $3,453,833. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in shares of KAR Auction Services by 1.5% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,186,989 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $51,230,000 after buying an additional 18,051 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale boosted its stake in shares of KAR Auction Services by 416.4% in the third quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 4,281 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $183,000 after buying an additional 3,452 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of KAR Auction Services by 1.8% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 362,836 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $15,661,000 after buying an additional 6,323 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of KAR Auction Services by 48.3% in the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 158,587 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $6,845,000 after buying an additional 51,673 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of KAR Auction Services by 1.9% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 1,336,632 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $57,689,000 after buying an additional 25,457 shares during the last quarter.

KAR Auction Services Company Profile

KAR Auction Services, Inc is a provider of whole car auction services in North America, and salvage auction services in North America and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: ADESA, Inc (ADESA Auctions or ADESA), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC).

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