Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (GPI) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Group 1 Automotive is poised to benefit from its frequent acquisitions and divestments of dealerships and franchises in order to expand its business. Moreover, its financial position is improving with higher cash balance, which the company uses to pursue its capital deployment strategies. These capital deployments will boost shareholders’ confidence in Group 1 Automotive. However, a weak energy market and a decline in new vehicle unit sales are few headwinds for the company. Also, in the last six months, its shares have underperformed against the industry it belongs to.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub cut Group 1 Automotive from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. ValuEngine cut Group 1 Automotive from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a market perform rating and issued a $66.00 price target (down previously from $75.00) on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. They issued a hold rating and a $77.00 price target on the stock. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a hold rating on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Group 1 Automotive presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $73.80.

Shares of Group 1 Automotive (NYSE GPI) traded up 0.16% on Tuesday, hitting $70.33. 51,191 shares of the stock traded hands. Group 1 Automotive has a one year low of $51.62 and a one year high of $83.18. The company’s 50 day moving average is $67.17 and its 200 day moving average is $63.65. The stock has a market cap of $1.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.81 and a beta of 1.63.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $1.87 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.99 by ($0.12). The company had revenue of $2.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.70 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a return on equity of 15.73% and a net margin of 1.26%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $2.16 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Group 1 Automotive will post $7.06 EPS for the current year.

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In other Group 1 Automotive news, CFO John C. Rickel sold 10,000 shares of Group 1 Automotive stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.99, for a total transaction of $669,900.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 6.08% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Eqis Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Group 1 Automotive during the 3rd quarter valued at about $232,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Group 1 Automotive during the 2nd quarter valued at about $273,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 19.6% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,802,293 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,122,000 after acquiring an additional 295,967 shares in the last quarter. Elliott Management Corp grew its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 36.5% during the 2nd quarter. Elliott Management Corp now owns 308,362 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,525,000 after acquiring an additional 82,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Street Corp grew its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 5.6% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 631,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $39,985,000 after acquiring an additional 33,723 shares in the last quarter. 97.67% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Group 1 Automotive Company Profile

Group 1 Automotive, Inc is an operator in the automotive retail industry. The Company, through its dealerships, sells new and used cars and light trucks; arranges related vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; provides automotive maintenance and repair services, and sells vehicle parts.

Analyst Recommendations for Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

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