Standard Motor Products (SMP) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Standard Motor Products (NYSE:SMP) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Standard Motor is set to benefit from its solid brand recognition and regular capital deployment, which will enhance shareholder value. The company has been focused on reducing cost of production, which is expected to benefit its results. Standard Motor is not significantly exposed to the cyclical nature of the automotive industry since it is focused on the aftermarket, where it is a leading player. However, the company has been witnessing year over year decline in revenues and it seems the same trend to follow the next quarter as well. Also, in the last six months, Standard Motor’s shares have underperformed in the industry it belongs to.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on SMP. Jefferies Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Standard Motor Products in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. ValuEngine lowered Standard Motor Products from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 31st. B. Riley reissued a neutral rating on shares of Standard Motor Products in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, FBR & Co reissued a hold rating and issued a $48.00 price target on shares of Standard Motor Products in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $54.00.

Shares of Standard Motor Products (SMP) opened at $45.01 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $1,017.59, a PE ratio of 19.07, a P/E/G ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 1.80. Standard Motor Products has a 52-week low of $40.56 and a 52-week high of $54.73.

Standard Motor Products (NYSE:SMP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The auto parts company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.86 by ($0.12). Standard Motor Products had a return on equity of 13.68% and a net margin of 4.97%. The company had revenue of $281.06 million for the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.92 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Standard Motor Products will post 2.67 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 15th were paid a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.69%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 14th. Standard Motor Products’s payout ratio is 32.20%.

Standard Motor Products declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Monday, November 20th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the auto parts company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, VP Ray Nicholas sold 1,000 shares of Standard Motor Products stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.35, for a total value of $48,350.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, VP Thomas Tesoro sold 775 shares of Standard Motor Products stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.18, for a total value of $34,239.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 31,456 shares in the company, valued at $1,389,726.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 22,595 shares of company stock worth $1,041,475 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 6.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Standard Motor Products during the 2nd quarter valued at about $227,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Standard Motor Products by 17.7% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,854 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $253,000 after buying an additional 729 shares during the period. Nordea Investment Management AB purchased a new stake in shares of Standard Motor Products during the 2nd quarter valued at about $256,000. AXA purchased a new stake in shares of Standard Motor Products during the 2nd quarter valued at about $287,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Standard Motor Products during the 3rd quarter valued at about $309,000. 79.16% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Standard Motor Products

Standard Motor Products, Inc is an independent manufacturer and distributor of replacement parts for motor vehicles in the automotive aftermarket industry with a complementary focus on heavy duty, industrial equipment and the original equipment service market. The Company’s segments include Engine Management Segment and Temperature Control Segment.

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