Group 1 Automotive (GPI) Hits New 52-Week Low at $56.04

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Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI)’s share price hit a new 52-week low during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as low as $56.04 and last traded at $56.24, with a volume of 9832 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $57.77.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on GPI. ValuEngine downgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 28th. Finally, Morgan Stanley downgraded Group 1 Automotive to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $84.33.

The company has a market cap of $1.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.12, a P/E/G ratio of 4.44 and a beta of 1.96. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16, a current ratio of 1.07 and a quick ratio of 0.26.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $2.45 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.14 by $0.31. Group 1 Automotive had a return on equity of 15.73% and a net margin of 1.97%. The firm had revenue of $2.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.92 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.87 EPS. Group 1 Automotive’s quarterly revenue was up 10.2% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts predict that Group 1 Automotive, Inc. will post 8.92 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 18th. Investors of record on Tuesday, September 4th were paid a $0.26 dividend. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.89%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 31st. Group 1 Automotive’s payout ratio is currently 13.45%.

In related news, VP Darryl M. Burman sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.00, for a total value of $312,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 64,178 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,005,884. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Lincoln Pereira sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.45, for a total value of $1,986,250.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 67,425 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,356,916.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 38,200 shares of company stock valued at $3,012,805 over the last ninety days. 4.95% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GPI. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 4.7% in the 1st quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 45,991 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,006,000 after purchasing an additional 2,067 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 6.0% in the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 130,612 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,535,000 after purchasing an additional 7,363 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 13.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,949,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $192,744,000 after purchasing an additional 343,818 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 1.0% in the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 158,974 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,387,000 after purchasing an additional 1,586 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 82.6% in the 1st quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 26,138 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,708,000 after purchasing an additional 11,822 shares in the last quarter. 99.76% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. It sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts; arranges vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; and provides automotive maintenance and repair services. The company has operations primarily in the metropolitan areas of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States; 28 towns in the United Kingdom; and in the metropolitan markets of Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Santa Catarina, Brazil.

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