Zacks: Brokerages Expect Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (GPI) to Post $2.28 Earnings Per Share

Wall Street analysts forecast that Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI) will announce earnings of $2.28 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Zero analysts have issued estimates for Group 1 Automotive’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $2.30 and the lowest is $2.25. Group 1 Automotive reported earnings of $2.11 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 8.1%. The firm is scheduled to report its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th.

On average, analysts expect that Group 1 Automotive will report full year earnings of $8.88 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $8.85 to $8.90. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the business will post earnings of $8.87 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $7.82 to $9.77. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that follow Group 1 Automotive.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $2.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.39 by $0.08. Group 1 Automotive had a net margin of 2.05% and a return on equity of 15.48%. The firm had revenue of $2.89 billion during the quarter.

GPI has been the subject of several recent research reports. Buckingham Research upgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, October 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 2nd. TheStreet downgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Group 1 Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Group 1 Automotive from $59.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $78.60.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Northern Trust Corp boosted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 3.0% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 846,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $53,300,000 after purchasing an additional 24,446 shares during the last quarter. LSV Asset Management boosted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 22.9% during the 3rd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 804,044 shares of the company’s stock worth $52,182,000 after purchasing an additional 149,800 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 625,444 shares of the company’s stock worth $39,404,000 after purchasing an additional 17,350 shares during the last quarter. Towle & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 3.0% during the 3rd quarter. Towle & Co. now owns 398,889 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,888,000 after purchasing an additional 11,790 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its stake in shares of Group 1 Automotive by 1.3% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 394,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,594,000 after purchasing an additional 5,049 shares during the last quarter.

NYSE:GPI opened at $52.48 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 1.03 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.14. Group 1 Automotive has a twelve month low of $51.90 and a twelve month high of $83.97. The stock has a market cap of $1.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.11, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.66 and a beta of 2.05.

Group 1 Automotive announced that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, October 25th that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 9.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, December 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 30th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.98%. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is currently 13.45%.

About Group 1 Automotive

Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. It sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts; arranges vehicle financing; sells service and insurance contracts; and provides automotive maintenance and repair services. The company has operations primarily in the metropolitan areas of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States; 28 towns in the United Kingdom; and in the metropolitan markets of Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Santa Catarina, Brazil.

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