Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD) Coverage Initiated at Berenberg Bank

Berenberg Bank began coverage on shares of Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, Marketbeat reports. The firm issued a hold rating and a $126.00 price target on the stock.

A number of other research firms have also commented on LAD. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $125.00 price target on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. KeyCorp reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $130.00 price target (up previously from $119.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday. Seaport Global Securities started coverage on Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised Lithia Motors from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $121.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, BidaskClub raised Lithia Motors from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Lithia Motors currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $116.00.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) opened at 118.68 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $2.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.31 and a beta of 1.71. Lithia Motors has a one year low of $75.85 and a one year high of $123.50. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $111.55 and a 200-day moving average price of $97.60.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, July 28th. The company reported $2.28 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.23 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $2.47 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.45 billion. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 21.66% and a net margin of 2.26%. Lithia Motors’s revenue was up 15.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.96 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Lithia Motors will post $8.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 81,444 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $99.39, for a total value of $8,094,719.16. Following the sale, the director now owns 48,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,837,112.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 65,711 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.77, for a total value of $8,001,628.47. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,421 shares in the company, valued at approximately $173,035.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 312,981 shares of company stock worth $33,812,652. 7.85% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 152,203.5% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,901,382 shares of the company’s stock valued at $248,504,000 after buying an additional 2,899,477 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,097,189 shares of the company’s stock valued at $197,618,000 after buying an additional 56,888 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,187,168 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,867,000 after buying an additional 11,661 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 139.5% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 955,783 shares of the company’s stock valued at $90,063,000 after buying an additional 556,684 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Lithia Motors by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 934,805 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,086,000 after buying an additional 12,244 shares during the last quarter. 98.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Lithia Motors

Lithia Motors, Inc is an operator of automotive franchises and a retailer of new and used vehicles and related services. As of February 28, 2017, it offered 30 brands of new vehicles and all brands of used vehicles in 154 stores in the United States and online at Lithia.com, DCHauto.com and CarboneCars.com.

Analyst Recommendations for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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