Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD) Trading Down 8.7% Following Insider Selling

Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD)’s share price traded down 8.7% during trading on Friday after an insider sold shares in the company. The stock traded as low as $87.14 and last traded at $88.57, with a volume of 772,965 shares. The stock had previously closed at $96.98.

Specifically, Director Sidney B. Deboer sold 35,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $97.00, for a total transaction of $3,395,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 79,625 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,723,625. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Susan O. Cain sold 2,317 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.49, for a total value of $214,299.33. Following the transaction, the director now owns 12,242 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,132,262.58. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 86,300 shares of company stock valued at $8,311,241. 7.85% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several equities analysts have issued reports on LAD shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Lithia Motors from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $112.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Jefferies Group LLC set a $115.00 target price on Lithia Motors and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 16th. Seaport Global Securities started coverage on Lithia Motors in a research report on Wednesday. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Lithia Motors from $115.00 to $106.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation cut Lithia Motors from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $92.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Friday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $105.83.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $92.27 and a 200-day moving average of $94.46. The firm has a market cap of $2.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.82 and a beta of 1.65.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 19th. The company reported $1.78 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.77 by $0.01. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 21.91% and a net margin of 2.32%. The firm had revenue of $2.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.22 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.55 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 12.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Lithia Motors, Inc. will post $8.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 26th. Investors of record on Friday, May 12th were issued a dividend of $0.27 per share. This is a boost from Lithia Motors’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.25. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 10th. This represents a $1.08 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.22%. Lithia Motors’s payout ratio is presently 13.19%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $14,886,000. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 33.9% in the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 15,518 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,503,000 after buying an additional 3,926 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 51,027 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,170,000 after buying an additional 1,096 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 580,231 shares of the company’s stock valued at $56,188,000 after buying an additional 1,579 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Lithia Motors during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,221,000. 99.15% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

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