KAR Auction Services, Inc (KAR) Upgraded to “Hold” 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 report published on Friday, May 12th.

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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Gabelli started coverage on KAR Auction Services in a research report on Friday, April 7th. They set a buy rating on the stock. Wolfe Research assumed coverage on KAR Auction Services in a research report on Thursday, March 2nd. They set an outperform rating on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $50.33.

Shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) traded down 2.11% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $42.61. 1,031,707 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average of $43.35 and a 200 day moving average of $43.93. The company has a market cap of $5.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.67 and a beta of 1.18. KAR Auction Services has a 12 month low of $38.16 and a 12 month high of $47.03.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $848.73 million. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 20.54% and a net margin of 7.16%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 14.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.55 EPS. Analysts expect that KAR Auction Services will post $2.22 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 6th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 19th. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 77.11%.

In other news, CEO John W. Kett sold 9,938 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.41, for a total value of $431,408.58. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 44,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,940,166.54. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO John W. Kett sold 8,321 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.36, for a total value of $360,798.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 35,966 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,559,485.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 46,297 shares of company stock valued at $2,030,342 in the last three months. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of KAR. Northern Trust Corp increased 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 valued at $51,230,000 after buying an additional 18,051 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased 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 valued at $183,000 after buying an additional 3,452 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position 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 valued at $15,661,000 after buying an additional 6,323 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its position 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 valued at $6,845,000 after buying an additional 51,673 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its position 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 valued at $57,689,000 after buying an additional 25,457 shares during the period.

About KAR Auction Services

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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