Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $88.00 target price on the stock.

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. “

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on ABG. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Asbury Automotive Group from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Monday, May 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Tuesday, February 19th. They set a neutral rating and a $82.00 price target for the company. Finally, Craig Hallum upgraded Asbury Automotive Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $90.00 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Five 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 NYSE:ABG opened at $78.57 on Tuesday. Asbury Automotive Group has a 52-week low of $58.60 and a 52-week high of $82.30. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.54 billion, a PE ratio of 9.34, a PEG ratio of 0.63 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.85, a current ratio of 1.15 and a quick ratio of 0.33.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $2.20 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.28. The company had revenue of $1.67 billion during 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%. Asbury Automotive Group’s quarterly revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.93 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Asbury Automotive Group will post 8.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Dennis E. Clements sold 20,000 shares of Asbury Automotive Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.10, for a total transaction of $1,422,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,883 shares in the company, valued at $489,381.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO David W. Hult sold 15,000 shares of Asbury Automotive Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.25, for a total value of $1,188,750.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 25,703 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,036,962.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 58,599 shares of company stock valued at $4,435,949. 1.36% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 24.5% in the first quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 57,939 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,019,000 after buying an additional 11,390 shares in the last quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 167.0% in the first quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC now owns 16,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,173,000 after buying an additional 10,571 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 14.4% in the first quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,385,664 shares of the company’s stock valued at $96,110,000 after buying an additional 174,940 shares in the last quarter. Man Group plc increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 15.4% in the first quarter. Man Group plc now owns 182,181 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,637,000 after buying an additional 24,287 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 1.1% in the first quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 428,662 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,732,000 after buying an additional 4,849 shares in 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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