Group 1 Automotive (GPI) Upgraded to “Buy” at Buckingham Research

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) was upgraded by Buckingham Research from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $89.00 price objective on the stock. Buckingham Research’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 21.52% from the stock’s current price.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. They set a “hold” rating and a $77.00 price target for the company. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price target on shares of Group 1 Automotive from $65.00 to $85.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and set a $87.00 price target (up previously from $83.00) on shares of Group 1 Automotive in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Group 1 Automotive currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $79.50.

Shares of Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) traded up $0.88 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $73.24. 330,900 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 281,267. The company has a current ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 0.27 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.28. The company has a market capitalization of $1,550.00, a P/E ratio of 11.57, a P/E/G ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 1.69. Group 1 Automotive has a twelve month low of $51.62 and a twelve month high of $84.47.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $2.23 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.76 by $0.47. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 1.20% and a return on equity of 15.69%. The firm had revenue of $3.01 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.80 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.96 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Group 1 Automotive will post 7.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Earl J. Hesterberg sold 10,640 shares of Group 1 Automotive stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.44, for a total transaction of $792,041.60. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 165,010 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,283,344.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO John C. Rickel sold 20,000 shares of Group 1 Automotive stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.00, for a total transaction of $1,600,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 107,834 shares of company stock worth $8,412,413. 6.08% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Quantitative Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in Group 1 Automotive in the third quarter worth $215,000. First Trust Advisors LP grew its holdings in Group 1 Automotive by 42.9% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 32,158 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,330,000 after purchasing an additional 9,647 shares during the last quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. purchased a new position in Group 1 Automotive in the second quarter worth $1,322,000. FCA Corp TX purchased a new position in Group 1 Automotive in the third quarter worth $290,000. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB grew its holdings in Group 1 Automotive by 2.8% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 73,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,348,000 after purchasing an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. 97.57% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Group 1 Automotive

Group 1 Automotive, Inc is an operator in the automotive retail industry. The Company, through its dealerships, sells new and used cars and light trucks; arranges related vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; provides automotive maintenance and repair services, and sells vehicle parts.

Analyst Recommendations for Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

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