Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest during the month of May. As of May 31st, there was short interest totalling 3,081,200 shares, a growth of 23.8% from the April 30th total of 2,489,200 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 235,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 13.1 days. Currently, 14.2% of the company’s stock are sold short.
Shares of NYSE LAD traded up $1.89 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $120.61. The company had a trading volume of 151,303 shares, compared to its average volume of 204,702. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a quick ratio of 0.23 and a current ratio of 1.17. Lithia Motors has a 12 month low of $67.90 and a 12 month high of $121.96. The stock has a market cap of $2.76 billion, a PE ratio of 12.09, a PEG ratio of 1.51 and a beta of 1.18.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th. The company reported $2.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.15 by $0.29. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.25% and a return on equity of 20.68%. The business had revenue of $2.85 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.86 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.07 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts forecast that Lithia Motors will post 11.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Lithia Motors news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 15,433 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.00, for a total transaction of $1,759,362.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 11,144 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,270,416. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 5.21% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LAD. Ellis Investment Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Lithia Motors in the first quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Versant Capital Management Inc increased its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 100.5% in the first quarter. Versant Capital Management Inc now owns 393 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 197 shares in the last quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lithia Motors in the first quarter valued at approximately $47,000. Bank of Montreal Can increased its holdings in shares of Lithia Motors by 65.8% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,096 shares of the company’s stock valued at $84,000 after purchasing an additional 435 shares in the last quarter. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lithia Motors in the first quarter valued at approximately $139,000.
Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Lithia Motors from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, March 25th. Longbow Research assumed coverage on Lithia Motors in a research report on Friday, May 31st. They issued a “buy” rating and a $132.00 price target on the stock. ValuEngine raised Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Lithia Motors from $117.00 to $128.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Finally, Buckingham Research raised their price target on Lithia Motors from $106.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 25th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $118.78.
Lithia Motors Company Profile
Lithia Motors, Inc operates automotive franchises, and retails new and used vehicles in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It sells new and used cars, replacement parts, vehicle service contracts, vehicle protection products, and credit insurance products; provides vehicle maintenance, warranty, paint, and repair services; and arranges related financing.
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