Lithia Motors Sees Unusually Large Options Volume (LAD)

Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) saw unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock traders acquired 2,500 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 1,079% compared to the average daily volume of 212 call options.

Shares of Lithia Motors (NYSE LAD) opened at $115.45 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.26. Lithia Motors has a 12-month low of $80.88 and a 12-month high of $123.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $2,912.10, a P/E ratio of 14.03, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.72.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.18 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.37 by ($0.19). Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.14% and a return on equity of 21.02%. The company had revenue of $2.69 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.62 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $2.06 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 18.7% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Lithia Motors will post 8.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 10th were paid a dividend of $0.27 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 9th. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.94%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.12%.

Several analysts have weighed in on LAD shares. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective (up previously from $119.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Berenberg Bank started coverage on Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $126.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Lithia Motors from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $116.29.

In related news, Director Kenneth E. Roberts sold 534 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $122.62, for a total value of $65,479.08. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 115,064 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,109,147.68. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Kenneth E. Roberts sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $115.98, for a total value of $1,739,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 130,598 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,146,756.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 116,429 shares of company stock valued at $13,917,011 in the last 90 days. 7.85% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 2.8% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,097,189 shares of the company’s stock valued at $197,618,000 after buying an additional 56,888 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 1.0% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,187,168 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,867,000 after buying an additional 11,661 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 23.7% during the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,182,723 shares of the company’s stock valued at $142,294,000 after buying an additional 226,940 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 4.6% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 977,749 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,631,000 after buying an additional 42,944 shares during the period. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 5.8% during the second quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 723,495 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,175,000 after buying an additional 39,692 shares during the period. 98.47% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Lithia Motors

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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