Stock Traders Purchase High Volume of Call Options on KAR Auction Services (KAR)

KAR Auction Services Inc (NYSE:KAR) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Tuesday. Stock traders bought 5,235 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,600% compared to the typical daily volume of 308 call options.

In other news, EVP Lisa A. Price sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.18, for a total value of $511,800.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Benjamin Skuy sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.50, for a total transaction of $582,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 32,000 shares of company stock worth $1,575,200 in the last 90 days. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Archford Capital Strategies LLC increased its holdings in shares of KAR Auction Services by 832.0% during the 2nd quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 932 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $103,000 after acquiring an additional 832 shares during the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in KAR Auction Services in the 2nd quarter valued at $118,000. KBC Group NV grew its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 81.5% in the 3rd quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 2,696 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $129,000 after buying an additional 1,211 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 105.6% during the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 4,063 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $171,000 after acquiring an additional 2,087 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in shares of KAR Auction Services by 9.4% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 4,210 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $177,000 after acquiring an additional 363 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 99.18% of the company’s stock.

Shares of KAR Auction Services (KAR) opened at $51.43 on Friday. KAR Auction Services has a 12 month low of $40.27 and a 12 month high of $51.52. The firm has a market capitalization of $6,806.53, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.97, a PEG ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a quick ratio of 1.35, a current ratio of 1.35 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The specialty retailer reported $0.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.06. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 22.37% and a net margin of 6.94%. The business had revenue of $843.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $846.42 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.50 EPS. KAR Auction Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that KAR Auction Services will post 2.36 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, December 20th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. This is a boost from KAR Auction Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 19th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.72%. KAR Auction Services’s payout ratio is presently 82.35%.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of KAR Auction Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Gabelli downgraded shares of KAR Auction Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 price objective on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised their price objective on shares of KAR Auction Services from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Finally, Stephens cut KAR Auction Services from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and reduced their target price for the stock from $51.00 to $48.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $52.20.

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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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