Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Penske Automotive’s share price underperformed the Zacks categorized Retail/Wholesale Auto/Truck industry. The company’s extensive merchandise inventory and intensifying competition in the industry pose concerns. The high proportion of inventory in the current assets can affect the short-term liquidity of the company in periods of low sales. In addition, the company’s business is exposed to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. In fact, Penske Automotive competes with other franchised automotive dealerships, private market buyers and sellers of used vehicles, Internet-based vehicle brokers, national and local service, repair shops and parts retailers plus automotive manufacturers. This can lead to lower selling prices, thus affecting the profits of the company.”

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on the company. Gabelli upgraded Penske Automotive Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 27th. BidaskClub upgraded Penske Automotive Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on Penske Automotive Group from $54.00 to $50.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 9th. ValuEngine lowered Penske Automotive Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $46.00 price objective (down previously from $54.00) on shares of Penske Automotive Group in a research report on Monday. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.67.

Shares of Penske Automotive Group (NYSE PAG) traded down 1.44% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $43.86. The stock had a trading volume of 356,631 shares. Penske Automotive Group has a 52 week low of $34.51 and a 52 week high of $56.05. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $42.56 and a 200 day moving average price of $48.12. The firm has a market cap of $3.78 billion, a PE ratio of 10.82 and a beta of 1.49.

Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 26th. The company reported $0.97 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $5.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.85 billion. Penske Automotive Group had a return on equity of 19.06% and a net margin of 1.70%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.90 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Penske Automotive Group will post $4.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Penske Automotive Group news, EVP Shane M. Spradlin sold 1,900 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.64, for a total value of $82,916.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, President Robert H. Kurnick, Jr. sold 11,172 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.48, for a total value of $474,586.56. Following the completion of the sale, the president now owns 89,405 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,797,924.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 40.70% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PAG. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Penske Automotive Group by 3.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,731,945 shares of the company’s stock worth $127,882,000 after buying an additional 97,202 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management increased its position in shares of Penske Automotive Group by 6.3% in the first quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 2,416,007 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,093,000 after buying an additional 142,956 shares in the last quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI increased its position in shares of Penske Automotive Group by 13.3% in the first quarter. Fiduciary Management Inc. WI now owns 1,442,655 shares of the company’s stock worth $67,531,000 after buying an additional 168,845 shares in the last quarter. Sentry Investments Corp. increased its position in shares of Penske Automotive Group by 0.6% in the first quarter. Sentry Investments Corp. now owns 1,179,732 shares of the company’s stock worth $55,223,000 after buying an additional 6,500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of America Corp DE increased its position in shares of Penske Automotive Group by 8.4% in the first quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 677,078 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,695,000 after buying an additional 52,663 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 38.97% of the company’s stock.

Penske Automotive Group Company Profile

Penske Automotive Group, Inc is an international transportation services company. The Company operates automotive and commercial truck dealerships principally in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, and distributes commercial vehicles, diesel engines, gas engines, power systems, and related parts and services principally in Australia and New Zealand.

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