Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) Hits New 12-Month High at $109.58

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Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $109.58 and last traded at $109.58, with a volume of 1668 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $106.75.

GPI has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $108.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, October 28th. Stephens set a $110.00 target price on Group 1 Automotive and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Buckingham Research set a $102.00 price target on Group 1 Automotive and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 25th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $107.00 price target on Group 1 Automotive and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 25th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Group 1 Automotive from $105.00 to $128.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, November 14th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $105.33.

The company has a fifty day moving average of $101.68 and a two-hundred day moving average of $86.62. The company has a market cap of $1.91 billion, a PE ratio of 12.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 1.76. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.27, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 1.00.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 24th. The company reported $3.02 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.72 by $0.30. Group 1 Automotive had a return on equity of 16.48% and a net margin of 1.31%. The company had revenue of $3.12 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.95 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $2.47 EPS. Group 1 Automotive’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Group 1 Automotive, Inc. will post 10.6 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 16th. Investors of record on Monday, December 2nd will be issued a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 29th. This is a positive change from Group 1 Automotive’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.28. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio is presently 13.02%.

In other Group 1 Automotive news, CEO Earl J. Hesterberg sold 9,569 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $102.14, for a total value of $977,377.66. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 130,129 shares in the company, valued at $13,291,376.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Max P. Watson sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.47, for a total value of $1,034,700.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 49,746 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,147,218.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 124,258 shares of company stock worth $12,373,384 in the last 90 days. 6.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GPI. Arizona State Retirement System increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 1.5% in the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 27,289 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,235,000 after purchasing an additional 412 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 141.5% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 11,896 shares of the company’s stock worth $974,000 after purchasing an additional 6,971 shares during the period. KBC Group NV increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 6.7% in the second quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 37,276 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,053,000 after purchasing an additional 2,350 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC increased its stake in Group 1 Automotive by 15.9% in the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 12,389 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,015,000 after purchasing an additional 1,699 shares during the period. Finally, Everence Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive during the second quarter valued at $250,000.

About Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. The company sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts, as well as service insurance contracts; arranges related vehicle financing; and offers automotive maintenance and repair services. It has operations primarily in the metropolitan areas in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States; 32 towns in the United Kingdom; and metropolitan markets in the states of Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Santa Catarina, Brazil.

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