Zacks Investment Research Lowers Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) to Hold

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors 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. “

Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Craig Hallum raised Asbury Automotive Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on Asbury Automotive Group from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, May 6th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. initiated coverage on Asbury Automotive Group in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $82.00 price objective on the stock. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Asbury Automotive Group has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $81.83.



Shares of ABG opened at $79.67 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $1.56 billion, a PE ratio of 9.47, a PEG 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. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.85, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a current ratio of 1.15.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $2.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.28. The business had revenue of $1.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.67 billion. Asbury Automotive Group had a return on equity of 36.35% and a net margin of 2.43%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.93 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Asbury Automotive Group will post 8.93 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO David W. Hult sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.25, for a total transaction of $1,188,750.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 25,703 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,036,962.75. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP Jed Milstein sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.41, for a total value of $69,410.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 13,027 shares in the company, valued at approximately $904,204.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 67,599 shares of company stock worth $5,080,979 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.36% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Peregrine Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 49.7% during the 4th quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 113,001 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,533,000 after buying an additional 37,491 shares during the period. Chicago Equity Partners LLC raised its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 2.9% during the 4th quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 95,785 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,385,000 after buying an additional 2,700 shares during the period. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its holdings in 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 buying an additional 4,065 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers raised its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 16.1% during the 4th quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 60,298 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,019,000 after buying an additional 8,342 shares during the period. Finally, First Hawaiian Bank raised its holdings in Asbury Automotive Group by 59.4% during the 4th quarter. First Hawaiian Bank now owns 6,330 shares of the company’s stock valued at $422,000 after buying an additional 2,360 shares during the period.

Asbury Automotive Group Company Profile

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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