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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Monday. The brokerage currently has $56.00 price target on the stock.

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.”

PAG has been the subject of several other research reports. Gabelli upped their price objective on Penske Automotive Group from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Bank of America upped their price objective on Penske Automotive Group from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Penske Automotive Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Penske Automotive Group currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $55.57.

Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) opened at $47.90 on Monday. Penske Automotive Group has a 52 week low of $38.33 and a 52 week high of $54.83. The company has a quick ratio of 0.22, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,143.46, a P/E ratio of 6.72, a PEG ratio of 1.23 and a beta of 1.46.

Penske Automotive Group (NYSE:PAG) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The company reported $1.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.01. Penske Automotive Group had a return on equity of 17.67% and a net margin of 2.87%. The company had revenue of $5.40 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.27 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.91 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Penske Automotive Group will post 4.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Penske Automotive Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, October 25th that authorizes the company to repurchase $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Investors of record on Monday, February 12th will be issued a $0.34 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 9th. This is a boost from Penske Automotive Group’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. This represents a $1.36 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.84%. Penske Automotive Group’s dividend payout ratio is presently 19.05%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its holdings in Penske Automotive Group by 7.5% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 2,499 shares of the company’s stock valued at $110,000 after acquiring an additional 175 shares during the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in Penske Automotive Group in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $129,000. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc bought a new stake in Penske Automotive Group in the third quarter valued at approximately $199,000. Jane Street Group LLC bought a new stake in Penske Automotive Group in the third quarter valued at approximately $201,000. Finally, Stephens Inc. AR bought a new stake in Penske Automotive Group in the third quarter valued at approximately $230,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 41.71% of the company’s stock.

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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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