Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD) Trading -5% Higher on Earnings Beat

Shares of Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) shot up 5% on Monday following a stronger than expected earnings report. The stock traded as high as $109.42 and last traded at $101.65, with a volume of 223,934 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $107.00.

The company reported $2.28 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.23 by $0.05. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 21.66% and a net margin of 2.26%. The company had revenue of $2.47 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.45 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.96 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 15.6% compared to the same quarter last year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th will be given a dividend of $0.27 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 9th. This represents a $1.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.01%.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on LAD. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $116.00 price objective (up previously from $106.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 target price on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Bank of America Corporation downgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $92.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Seaport Global Securities started coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $109.17.

In related news, CEO Bryan B. Deboer sold 7,466 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $95.00, for a total value of $709,270.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 114,183 shares in the company, valued at $10,847,385. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Susan O. Cain sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $105.64, for a total transaction of $105,640.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 12,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,293,244.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 209,296 shares of company stock worth $20,951,694 over the last three months. Company insiders own 7.85% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cetera Investment Advisers acquired a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the second quarter worth approximately $594,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 12.7% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 1,806 shares of the company’s stock worth $170,000 after buying an additional 204 shares in the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the second quarter worth approximately $201,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Lithia Motors during the second quarter worth approximately $484,000. Finally, Westwood Holdings Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 34.3% in the second quarter. Westwood Holdings Group Inc. now owns 205,824 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,394,000 after buying an additional 52,598 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.45% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a market capitalization of $2.57 billion, a PE ratio of 12.39 and a beta of 1.73. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $99.60 and a 200 day moving average price of $94.11.

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Lithia Motors Company Profile

Lithia Motors, Inc is an operator of automotive franchises and a retailer of new and used vehicles and related services. As of February 28, 2017, it offered 30 brands of new vehicles and all brands of used vehicles in 154 stores in the United States and online at Lithia.com, DCHauto.com and CarboneCars.com.

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