Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, September 25th. The brokerage currently has $80.00 price target 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. “

ABG has been the subject of a number of other research reports. SunTrust Banks began coverage on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Friday, August 24th. They issued a hold rating and a $78.00 target price for the company. Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Asbury Automotive Group from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and increased their target price for the company from $63.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $73.20.

Shares of NYSE:ABG traded down $0.25 on Tuesday, reaching $59.94. 370,725 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 203,073. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.32, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 1.45. Asbury Automotive Group has a fifty-two week low of $54.51 and a fifty-two week high of $77.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90, a quick ratio of 0.36 and a current ratio of 1.19.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 24th. The company reported $2.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.16. The business had revenue of $1.72 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.67 billion. Asbury Automotive Group had a net margin of 2.37% and a return on equity of 37.44%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.58 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect that Asbury Automotive Group will post 7.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Thomas C. Deloach, Jr. sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.97, for a total transaction of $1,124,550.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 68,652 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,146,840.44. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Juanita T. James sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $74.73, for a total transaction of $112,095.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 8,679 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $648,581.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 27,386 shares of company stock valued at $2,050,438 in the last quarter. 1.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 270,121 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,232,000 after purchasing an additional 718 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 3.2% during the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 32,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,207,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 25.3% during the 2nd quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 5,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $374,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 2.2% during the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 51,188 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,512,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IndexIQ Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 32,405 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,221,000 after purchasing an additional 1,752 shares in the last quarter.

Asbury Automotive Group Company Profile

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc 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, replacement parts, and collision repair services. The company also provides finance and insurance products, including arranging vehicle financing through third parties; and aftermarket products, such as extended service contracts, guaranteed asset protection insurance, prepaid maintenance, and credit life and disability insurance.

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