KAR Auction Services, Inc (KAR) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of KAR Auction Services, Inc (NYSE:KAR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. They currently have $54.00 price objective on the specialty retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “KAR Auction Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a used vehicle and salvage auto auction company in North America. The company operates in three segments: ADESA, IAAI, and AFC. The ADESA segment provides whole car auctions and related services to commercial fleet operators, financial institutions, rental car companies, used vehicle dealers, vehicle manufacturers and their captive finance companies, and franchised and independent used vehicle dealers. This segment also provides value-added ancillary services, such as inspections, storage, transportation, reconditioning and titling, and other administrative services. The IAAI segment offers salvage vehicle auctions and related services. The AFC segment offers short-term and inventory-secured financing, known as floorplan financing, to independent used vehicle dealers. KAR Auction Services, Inc. is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. “

Several other analysts have also issued reports on KAR. BidaskClub lowered shares of KAR Auction Services from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Gabelli initiated coverage on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. They issued a buy rating and a $62.00 target price on the stock. Stephens lowered shares of KAR Auction Services from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and dropped their target price for the company from $51.00 to $48.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a buy rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. KAR Auction Services has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $53.50.

Shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) opened at 47.86 on Tuesday. The stock has a market cap of $6.57 billion, a PE ratio of 29.36 and a beta of 1.07. KAR Auction Services has a 52 week low of $38.16 and a 52 week high of $48.65. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $46.03 and a 200 day moving average of $43.57.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The specialty retailer reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.07. KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 6.83% and a return on equity of 21.46%. The business had revenue of $858.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $850.67 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.55 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that KAR Auction Services will post $2.25 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 3rd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, September 20th were given a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, September 19th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.67%. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 78.53%.

In other news, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.68, for a total value of $436,800.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO John W. Kett sold 10,011 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.01, for a total transaction of $420,562.11. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 65,982 shares in the company, valued at $2,771,903.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 20,031 shares of company stock worth $858,249. Company insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Archford Capital Strategies LLC lifted its stake in shares of KAR Auction Services by 832.0% in the second quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 932 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 832 shares in the last quarter. Acrospire Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of KAR Auction Services in the second quarter worth about $118,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its stake in shares of KAR Auction Services by 378.4% in the first quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 2,966 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 2,346 shares in the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co purchased a new position in shares of KAR Auction Services in the second quarter worth about $150,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of KAR Auction Services in the first quarter worth about $162,000. 99.27% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

KAR Auction Services Company Profile

KAR Auction Services, Inc is a provider of whole car auction services in North America, and salvage auction services in North America and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: ADESA, Inc (ADESA Auctions or ADESA), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC).

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