GW&K Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) by 11.7% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 637,898 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 66,907 shares during the quarter. Lithia Motors makes up approximately 1.2% of GW&K Investment Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 5th largest position. GW&K Investment Management LLC owned 2.74% of Lithia Motors worth $84,445,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of LAD. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Lithia Motors by 6.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,602,153 shares of the company’s stock worth $427,863,000 after purchasing an additional 217,265 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 6,081.4% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 205,098 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,022,000 after buying an additional 201,780 shares during the period. Redwood Investments LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Lithia Motors during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $19,895,000. Man Group plc grew its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 253.6% during the 2nd quarter. Man Group plc now owns 219,460 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,067,000 after buying an additional 157,395 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE grew its position in shares of Lithia Motors by 104.3% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 272,001 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,308,000 after buying an additional 138,872 shares during the period.
Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Guggenheim raised their price objective on shares of Lithia Motors from $147.00 to $171.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 24th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Lithia Motors from $144.00 to $151.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 15th. Craig Hallum raised their price objective on shares of Lithia Motors from $145.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 24th. ValuEngine raised shares of Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Finally, Bank of America downgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, September 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $135.30.
Shares of NYSE LAD traded up $2.86 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $159.58. 237,645 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 246,966. Lithia Motors Inc has a 12-month low of $67.90 and a 12-month high of $162.65. The company has a current ratio of 1.18, a quick ratio of 0.22 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12. The company has a market cap of $3.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.99, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.12. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $138.36 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $125.74.
Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 23rd. The company reported $3.39 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $3.09 by $0.30. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 20.95% and a net margin of 2.13%. The company had revenue of $3.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.25 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.83 earnings per share. Lithia Motors’s revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Lithia Motors Inc will post 11.6 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 8th will be paid a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 7th. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.02%.
In other Lithia Motors news, Director Kenneth E. Roberts sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.27, for a total value of $656,350.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 104,203 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,678,727.81. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Louis Miramontes sold 450 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $131.34, for a total value of $59,103.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 2,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $360,659.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 96,141 shares of company stock valued at $14,546,656. 5.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.
About Lithia Motors
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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