Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Penske Automotive Group (PAG) to “Strong-Buy”

Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The firm presently has a $56.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 13.31% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Penske Automotive earnings and revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in fourth- quarter 2017. Compared with the year-ago figures, both bottom and the top line were higher. In January, the company completed the acquisition of The Car People and is expected to earn annualized revenues of roughly $300 million from its accretion. Earlier in 2017, it acquired two other used vehicle retailers, namely CarShop and CarSense. These buyouts will develop the company’s used car business segment and increase its customer base. Also, to enhance shareholders’ value, the company has been increasing cash dividends in each sequential quarter and frequently engages in share repurchase programs. Also, in the last three months, Penske Automotive’s shares have outperformed the industry it belongs to.”

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on PAG. ValuEngine raised shares of Penske Automotive Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Bank of America boosted their target price on shares of Penske Automotive Group from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, Gabelli boosted their target price on shares of Penske Automotive Group from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Penske Automotive Group presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.57.

Shares of Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) traded up $0.98 during trading hours on Monday, reaching $49.42. 247,491 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 560,935. The company has a market capitalization of $4,190.00, a PE ratio of 6.90, a PEG ratio of 1.38 and a beta of 1.45. Penske Automotive Group has a 12-month low of $38.33 and a 12-month high of $54.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 0.22.

Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $5.40 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.27 billion. Penske Automotive Group had a net margin of 2.87% and a return on equity of 17.67%. Penske Automotive Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.91 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Penske Automotive Group will post 4.79 earnings per share for the current year.

Penske Automotive Group declared that its board has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its position in Penske Automotive Group by 7.5% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,499 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 175 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue acquired a new position in shares of Penske Automotive Group during the fourth quarter valued at about $129,000. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc acquired a new position in shares of Penske Automotive Group during the third quarter valued at about $199,000. Jane Street Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Penske Automotive Group during the third quarter valued at about $201,000. Finally, Stephens Inc. AR acquired a new position in shares of Penske Automotive Group during the third quarter valued at about $230,000. 41.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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