Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday, 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. “

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the company. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on Asbury Automotive Group from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 6th. Craig Hallum raised Asbury Automotive Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $82.00 target price for the company. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $81.83.

ABG opened at $79.67 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.85. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.56 billion, a PE ratio of 9.47, a P/E/G ratio of 0.63 and a beta of 1.22. Asbury Automotive Group has a 1 year low of $58.60 and a 1 year high of $82.30.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $2.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.28. Asbury Automotive Group had a return on equity of 36.35% and a net margin of 2.43%. The firm had revenue of $1.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.67 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.93 EPS. Asbury Automotive Group’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Asbury Automotive Group will post 8.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP Jed Milstein sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.41, for a total transaction of $69,410.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 13,027 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $904,204.07. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP George A. Villasana sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.39, for a total transaction of $714,510.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 7,115 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $564,859.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 67,599 shares of company stock valued at $5,080,979. 1.36% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ABG. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 5.2% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 280,910 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,312,000 after purchasing an additional 13,951 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 14.6% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 60,749 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,196,000 after purchasing an additional 7,741 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 2.0% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,021,921 shares of the company’s stock valued at $139,007,000 after purchasing an additional 38,717 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 3.3% during the 3rd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 128,925 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,863,000 after purchasing an additional 4,065 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 1.6% during the 3rd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 38,059 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,617,000 after purchasing an additional 591 shares during the last quarter.

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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