Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. is one of the largest automotive retailers. Asbury offers customers an extensive range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicle sales and related financing and insurance, vehicle maintenance and repair services, replacement parts and service contracts. They sell used vehicles at all franchised dealership locations and stand-alone stores. Used vehicle sales include the sale of used vehicles to individual retail customers and the sale of used vehicles to other dealers at auction. They provide vehicle repair and maintenance services, sell replacement parts, and recondition used vehicles at all of our dealerships. “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Craig Hallum upgraded Asbury Automotive Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $90.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Sonic Automotive from $10.00 to $18.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Asbury Automotive Group presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $84.00.

Shares of Asbury Automotive Group stock opened at $84.16 on Monday. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $80.53. Asbury Automotive Group has a 52 week low of $58.60 and a 52 week high of $87.16. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.65 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a quick ratio of 0.33, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.85.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $2.20 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.92 by $0.28. The company had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.67 billion. Asbury Automotive Group had a return on equity of 36.35% and a net margin of 2.43%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.93 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Asbury Automotive Group will post 9.01 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Eugene S. Katz sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $80.70, for a total value of $242,100.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 20,122 shares in the company, valued at $1,623,845.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, SVP George A. Villasana sold 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.39, for a total value of $714,510.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,115 shares in the company, valued at $564,859.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 32,599 shares of company stock worth $2,589,539 over the last quarter. 1.36% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Denali Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 56.0% during the second quarter. Denali Advisors LLC now owns 3,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $253,000 after buying an additional 1,077 shares during the period. Origin Asset Management LLP lifted its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 1,305.4% during the first quarter. Origin Asset Management LLP now owns 57,060 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,958,000 after buying an additional 53,000 shares during the period. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd lifted its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 26.3% during the first quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd now owns 10,109 shares of the company’s stock worth $701,000 after buying an additional 2,107 shares during the period. GAM Holding AG lifted its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 43.6% during the first quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 10,306 shares of the company’s stock worth $715,000 after buying an additional 3,128 shares during the period. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 53.6% during the first quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 212,732 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,755,000 after buying an additional 74,201 shares during the period.

About Asbury Automotive Group

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. It offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles; and vehicle repair and maintenance services, replacement parts, and collision repair services.

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