Group 1 Automotive (GPI) PT Raised to $64.00 at Morgan Stanley

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Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) had its target price raised by Morgan Stanley from $59.00 to $64.00 in a report issued on Wednesday morning. Morgan Stanley currently has a sell rating on the stock.

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on GPI. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Group 1 Automotive from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $83.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 12th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, June 29th. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $95.00 price target on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a report on Friday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has 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 presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $82.88.

Shares of NYSE GPI opened at $78.26 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 0.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16. The stock has a market cap of $1.52 billion, a PE ratio of 10.12 and a beta of 1.78. Group 1 Automotive has a 52-week low of $51.62 and a 52-week high of $84.47.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.14 by $0.31. The firm had revenue of $2.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.92 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 1.97% and a return on equity of 15.73%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.87 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Group 1 Automotive will post 8.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Group 1 Automotive declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, May 16th that allows the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 6.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 18th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, September 4th will be paid a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.33%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 31st. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.45%.

In other news, insider Daryl Kenningham sold 2,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.75, for a total value of $209,925.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Darryl M. Burman sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.00, for a total transaction of $312,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 64,178 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,005,884. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 4.95% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 13.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,949,848 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,744,000 after purchasing an additional 343,818 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management lifted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 652,644 shares of the company’s stock worth $42,643,000 after purchasing an additional 5,800 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 625,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,404,000 after purchasing an additional 17,350 shares during the period. Abrams Capital Management L.P. lifted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 99.8% in the 1st quarter. Abrams Capital Management L.P. now owns 500,471 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,701,000 after purchasing an additional 250,000 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 389,327 shares of the company’s stock worth $24,527,000 after purchasing an additional 1,416 shares during the period.

About Group 1 Automotive

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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