KAR Auction Services (KAR) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning. The firm currently has $58.00 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “KAR Auction Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a used vehicle and salvage auto auction company in North America. The company operates in three segments: ADESA, IAAI, and AFC. The ADESA segment provides whole car auctions and related services to commercial fleet operators, financial institutions, rental car companies, used vehicle dealers, vehicle manufacturers and their captive finance companies, and franchised and independent used vehicle dealers. This segment also provides value-added ancillary services, such as inspections, storage, transportation, reconditioning and titling, and other administrative services. The IAAI segment offers salvage vehicle auctions and related services. The AFC segment offers short-term and inventory-secured financing, known as floorplan financing, to independent used vehicle dealers. KAR Auction Services, Inc. is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. “

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on KAR. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on KAR Auction Services from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Gabelli cut KAR Auction Services from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. KAR Auction Services has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $52.80.

KAR Auction Services (KAR) traded up $0.26 during trading on Thursday, reaching $53.27. The company had a trading volume of 904,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 722,600. The company has a market capitalization of $7,210.00, a PE ratio of 31.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.08. KAR Auction Services has a fifty-two week low of $40.27 and a fifty-two week high of $53.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90, a quick ratio of 1.35 and a current ratio of 1.35.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 31st. The specialty retailer reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $843.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $846.42 million. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 22.37% and a net margin of 6.94%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.50 earnings per share. research analysts predict that KAR Auction Services will post 2.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 20th were issued a $0.35 dividend. This is a boost from KAR Auction Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.32. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 19th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.63%. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 82.35%.

In other KAR Auction Services news, EVP Benjamin Skuy sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.50, for a total value of $582,000.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Lisa A. Price sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.18, for a total value of $511,800.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 32,000 shares of company stock worth $1,575,200. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in KAR. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. lifted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 8.8% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 583,173 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $24,476,000 after buying an additional 47,389 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC lifted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 37.9% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 5,123 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $215,000 after buying an additional 1,408 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 12.5% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 7,220 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $303,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 8.4% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 5,772 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $242,000 after buying an additional 447 shares during the period. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its stake in KAR Auction Services by 0.9% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 82,402 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $3,458,000 after buying an additional 708 shares during the period. 99.22% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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KAR Auction Services Company Profile

KAR Auction Services, Inc is a provider of whole car auction services in North America, and salvage auction services in North America and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: ADESA, Inc (ADESA Auctions or ADESA), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC).

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Analyst Recommendations for KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR)

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