Affinity Investment Advisors LLC Takes Position in Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD)

Affinity Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm bought 2,028 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $244,000.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new position in Lithia Motors in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $201,000. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in Lithia Motors by 23.6% in the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 25,190 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,374,000 after purchasing an additional 4,811 shares in the last quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Lithia Motors in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $484,000. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in Lithia Motors by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 322,984 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,436,000 after purchasing an additional 8,352 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Lithia Motors by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,097,189 shares of the company’s stock worth $197,618,000 after purchasing an additional 56,888 shares in the last quarter. 98.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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In related news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 65,711 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.77, for a total transaction of $8,001,628.47. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,421 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $173,035.17. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Bryan B. Deboer sold 20,820 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.13, for a total transaction of $2,167,986.60. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 101,004 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,517,546.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 146,581 shares of company stock valued at $17,011,362 in the last three months. Company insiders own 7.85% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have weighed in on LAD. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Lithia Motors from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. Berenberg Bank started coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. They set a “hold” rating and a $126.00 price target on the stock. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price target (up previously from $119.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 price target on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $116.00 price target (up previously from $106.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $116.29.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.37 by ($0.19). Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 21.47% and a net margin of 2.14%. The business had revenue of $2.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.62 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.06 EPS. Lithia Motors’s revenue was up 18.7% on a year-over-year basis.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 10th will be given a $0.27 dividend. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 9th. Lithia Motors’s payout ratio is currently 13.12%.

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

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