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Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) rose 7.5% on Thursday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings, Analyst RN reports. The company traded as high as $70.63 and last traded at $69.79, with a volume of 436,212 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $64.93.

The company reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $2.26 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.08 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.16 earnings per share. Group 1 Automotive’s revenue was up 15.1% compared to the same quarter last year.

Separately, analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Wednesday, April 16th. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $76.16.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $65.78 and its 200-day moving average is $66.09. The company has a market cap of $1.614 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.03.

Group 1 Automotive, Inc is an operator in the automotive retailing industry. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned and operated 131 franchises, representing 31 brands of automobiles, at 104 dealership locations and 25 collision service centers in the United States of America and 10 franchises at five dealerships and three collision centers in the United Kingdom.

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