Short Interest in KAR Auction Services Inc (KAR) Declines By 51.8%

KAR Auction Services Inc (NYSE:KAR) was the recipient of a large drop in short interest in December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 398,139 shares, a drop of 51.8% from the December 15th total of 825,613 shares. Currently, 0.3% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 615,907 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 0.6 days.

In other KAR Auction Services news, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.14, for a total value of $481,400.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Benjamin Skuy sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.50, for a total transaction of $582,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 32,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,575,200 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of KAR. SG Americas Securities LLC grew its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 37.9% during the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 5,123 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $215,000 after purchasing an additional 1,408 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. grew its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 12.5% during the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 7,220 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $303,000 after purchasing an additional 800 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 0.9% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 82,402 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $3,458,000 after purchasing an additional 708 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC grew its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 39.7% during the second quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 198,401 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $8,327,000 after purchasing an additional 56,425 shares during the period. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 27.9% during the second quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 549,581 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $23,066,000 after purchasing an additional 119,953 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.22% of the company’s stock.

Shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) opened at $53.35 on Thursday. KAR Auction Services has a 1 year low of $40.27 and a 1 year high of $53.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90, a quick ratio of 1.35 and a current ratio of 1.35. The company has a market cap of $7,220.00, a P/E ratio of 31.38, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.08.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The specialty retailer reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.06. KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 6.94% and a return on equity of 22.37%. The company had revenue of $843.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $846.42 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.50 EPS. KAR Auction Services’s revenue was up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts expect that KAR Auction Services will post 2.36 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 20th were given a dividend of $0.35 per share. This is a boost from KAR Auction Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, December 19th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.62%. KAR Auction Services’s payout ratio is currently 82.35%.

Several brokerages have recently commented on KAR. Stephens set a $57.00 price target on shares of KAR Auction Services and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of KAR Auction Services from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Gabelli cut shares of KAR Auction Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price target on shares of KAR Auction Services from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $54.60.

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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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