Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) Stock Rating Upgraded by StockNews.com

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI – Get Rating) was upgraded by analysts at StockNews.com from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Friday.

GPI has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $187.00 to $160.00 in a research note on Friday, May 20th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $240.00 to $200.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 7th.

Group 1 Automotive stock traded up $7.20 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $166.39. 479,852 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 194,970. The company has a market cap of $2.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 4.57, a PEG ratio of 0.30 and a beta of 1.52. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $175.88 and a two-hundred day moving average of $181.03. The company has a quick ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.98. Group 1 Automotive has a 12-month low of $143.00 and a 12-month high of $212.23.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 27th. The company reported $10.81 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $9.45 by $1.36. The company had revenue of $3.84 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.77 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 4.45% and a return on equity of 38.47%. Group 1 Automotive’s revenue was up 30.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $5.57 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Group 1 Automotive will post 41.89 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, SVP Frank Grese sold 910 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $185.86, for a total value of $169,132.60. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 21,714 shares in the company, valued at $4,035,764.04. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Earl J. Hesterberg sold 3,294 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.21, for a total transaction of $649,609.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 5,204 shares of company stock worth $1,000,232. Insiders own 3.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. PDT Partners LLC bought a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the fourth quarter worth about $443,000. Polianta Ltd bought a new position in Group 1 Automotive during the 4th quarter worth about $1,171,000. CIBC Asset Management Inc grew its holdings in Group 1 Automotive by 11.1% during the 4th quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 2,215 shares of the company’s stock worth $432,000 after acquiring an additional 221 shares in the last quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. bought a new position in Group 1 Automotive during the 3rd quarter worth about $426,000. Finally, Evanson Asset Management LLC bought a new position in Group 1 Automotive during the 4th quarter worth about $225,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.57% of the company’s stock.

About Group 1 Automotive (Get Rating)

Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. The company sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts, as well as service and insurance contracts; arrange related vehicle financing; and offers automotive maintenance and repair services. It operates primarily in 17 states in the United States; and 35 towns in the United Kingdom.

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