Group 1 Automotive (GPI) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday, June 12th. The brokerage presently has a $83.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 13.28% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Over the past month, quarterly earnings estimate for Group 1 Automotive’s has been going up. The company frequently engages in acquisitions and divestments of dealerships and franchises in order to expand its business, which is expected to increase its annualized revenue. With higher cash balance, its financial position has also been improving enabling it to pursue different capital deployment strategies. Moreover, year to date, shares of Group 1 Automotive have outperformed the industry it belongs to.”

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on GPI. Guggenheim began coverage on Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Monday, April 16th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Group 1 Automotive from $53.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Buckingham Research downgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 20th. Stephens restated a “hold” rating and issued a $88.00 target price on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Monday, April 16th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 20th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $81.75.

Group 1 Automotive opened at $73.27 on Tuesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.26, a PEG ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 1.76. Group 1 Automotive has a one year low of $51.62 and a one year high of $84.47. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.17, a current ratio of 1.06 and a quick ratio of 0.27.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $1.70 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.54 by $0.16. The business had revenue of $2.86 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.66 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a return on equity of 15.47% and a net margin of 1.86%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.53 earnings per share. analysts predict that Group 1 Automotive will post 8.61 EPS for the current year.

Group 1 Automotive announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, May 16th that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 6.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 13.2% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,949,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $192,744,000 after buying an additional 343,818 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 0.9% during the first quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 652,644 shares of the company’s stock valued at $42,643,000 after buying an additional 5,800 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 0.6% during the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 608,094 shares of the company’s stock valued at $39,732,000 after buying an additional 3,467 shares during the last quarter. Abrams Capital Management L.P. raised its holdings in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 99.8% during the first quarter. Abrams Capital Management L.P. now owns 500,471 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,701,000 after buying an additional 250,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 36.9% during the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 357,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,350,000 after buying an additional 96,349 shares during the last quarter.

Group 1 Automotive Company Profile

Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. It sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts; arranges vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; and provides automotive maintenance and repair services. The company has operations primarily in the metropolitan areas of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States; 28 towns in the United Kingdom; and in the metropolitan markets of Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Santa Catarina, Brazil.

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Analyst Recommendations for Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

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