Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $84.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. is one of the largest automotive retailers. Asbury offers customers an extensive range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicle sales and related financing and insurance, vehicle maintenance and repair services, replacement parts and service contracts. They sell used vehicles at all franchised dealership locations and stand-alone stores. Used vehicle sales include the sale of used vehicles to individual retail customers and the sale of used vehicles to other dealers at auction. They provide vehicle repair and maintenance services, sell replacement parts, and recondition used vehicles at all of our dealerships. “

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on ABG. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, December 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. They issued a neutral rating and a $82.00 price objective on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $78.20.

Asbury Automotive Group stock opened at $76.40 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.83, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 1.19. Asbury Automotive Group has a 1 year low of $58.60 and a 1 year high of $77.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.47 billion, a PE ratio of 8.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.61 and a beta of 1.16.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The company reported $2.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.07 by $0.13. Asbury Automotive Group had a net margin of 2.44% and a return on equity of 37.38%. The company had revenue of $1.78 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.73 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.81 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts expect that Asbury Automotive Group will post 8.61 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Thomas C. Deloach, Jr. sold 9,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.67, for a total value of $645,030.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 46,703 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,347,204.01. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Dennis E. Clements sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.10, for a total transaction of $1,422,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 6,883 shares in the company, valued at approximately $489,381.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 41,000 shares of company stock worth $2,911,440. Corporate insiders own 1.36% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State of Alaska Department of Revenue increased its holdings in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 2.7% in the 4th quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 6,554 shares of the company’s stock worth $436,000 after acquiring an additional 170 shares during the period. Keybank National Association OH increased its stake in Asbury Automotive Group by 1.5% during the 4th quarter. Keybank National Association OH now owns 13,175 shares of the company’s stock valued at $878,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its stake in Asbury Automotive Group by 29.7% during the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,419 shares of the company’s stock valued at $95,000 after buying an additional 325 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its stake in Asbury Automotive Group by 31.9% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,611 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 390 shares during the period. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in Asbury Automotive Group by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 38,059 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,617,000 after buying an additional 591 shares during the period.

About Asbury Automotive Group

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. It offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles; and vehicle repair and maintenance services, replacement parts, and collision repair services.

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