Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) – Equities research analysts at Jefferies Group lowered their Q1 2018 earnings per share estimates for shares of Lithia Motors in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. Jefferies Group analyst B. Jordan now expects that the company will post earnings per share of $1.88 for the quarter, down from their prior estimate of $2.18. Jefferies Group has a “Buy” rating and a $125.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Lithia Motors’ FY2018 earnings at $9.25 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $10.50 EPS.

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on LAD. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $121.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, August 23rd. KeyCorp reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $130.00 price target (up from $119.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $116.00 price target (up from $106.00) on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. They set a “hold” rating and a $126.00 price target for the company. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $116.29.

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Lithia Motors (LAD) opened at 112.73 on Monday. Lithia Motors has a 12 month low of $75.85 and a 12 month high of $123.50. The company has a market capitalization of $2.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.59 and a beta of 1.71. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $115.47 and a 200-day moving average price of $100.82.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.18 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.37 by ($0.19). The firm had revenue of $2.69 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.62 billion. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.14% and a return on equity of 21.47%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 18.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $2.06 earnings per share.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 24th. Investors of record on Friday, November 10th will be paid a $0.27 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 9th. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.96%. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio is 13.12%.

In related news, Director Susan O. Cain sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.64, for a total value of $105,640.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 12,242 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,293,244.88. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas R. Becker sold 1,031 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.10, for a total transaction of $110,420.10. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 65,704 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,036,898.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 146,581 shares of company stock worth $17,011,362. 7.85% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 7.3% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,104 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,000 after acquiring an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 9.6% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,198 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after acquiring an additional 105 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 10.0% during the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 1,602 shares of the company’s stock valued at $137,000 after acquiring an additional 146 shares during the last quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in Lithia Motors during the third quarter valued at $202,000. Finally, Strs Ohio boosted its position in Lithia Motors by 325.0% during the third quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $204,000 after acquiring an additional 1,300 shares during the last quarter. 98.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Lithia Motors

Lithia Motors, Inc is an operator of automotive franchises and a retailer of new and used vehicles and related services. As of February 28, 2017, it offered 30 brands of new vehicles and all brands of used vehicles in 154 stores in the United States and online at Lithia.com, DCHauto.com and CarboneCars.com.

Earnings History and Estimates for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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