KAR Auction Services, Inc (NYSE:KAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Friday.

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. “

KAR has been the subject of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of KAR Auction Services from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 31st. Gabelli initiated coverage on shares of KAR Auction Services in a report on Tuesday, July 4th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $62.00 price objective for the company. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $54.33.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE KAR) traded up 1.15% on Friday, reaching $43.04. 1,284,885 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.40 and a beta of 1.12. KAR Auction Services has a 52 week low of $38.16 and a 52 week high of $47.03. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $41.68 and a 200 day moving average of $43.43.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The specialty retailer reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $858 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $850.67 million. KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 6.83% and a return on equity of 21.56%. The firm’s revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.55 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that KAR Auction Services will post $2.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other KAR Auction Services news, CEO John W. Kett sold 10,008 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.06, for a total value of $420,936.48. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 58,941 shares in the company, valued at $2,479,058.46. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO John W. Kett sold 10,011 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.01, for a total value of $420,562.11. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 65,982 shares in the company, valued at $2,771,903.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 29,932 shares of company stock worth $1,276,878 over the last quarter. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter worth about $118,000. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 7.2% in the first quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 2,830 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 190 shares during the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in 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 during the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co bought a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the second quarter worth about $150,000. Finally, SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the first quarter worth about $162,000.

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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