Wall Street analysts expect that Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) will post sales of $2.90 billion for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Three analysts have made estimates for Lithia Motors’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $2.82 billion to $2.94 billion. Lithia Motors reported sales of $2.66 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 9%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings results on Wednesday, April 24th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Lithia Motors will report full year sales of $12.34 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $11.99 billion to $12.94 billion. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will report sales of $12.74 billion, with estimates ranging from $12.05 billion to $14.12 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that that provide coverage for Lithia Motors.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The company reported $2.57 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.45 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $2.97 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.01 billion. Lithia Motors had a net margin of 2.25% and a return on equity of 20.82%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 10.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.15 earnings per share.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Lithia Motors from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. ValuEngine cut shares of Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $107.00 to $108.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. initiated coverage on shares of Lithia Motors in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $112.00 target price for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $106.29.

In related news, Director Susan O. Cain sold 1,462 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.15, for a total transaction of $127,413.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 10,849 shares in the company, valued at $945,490.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Bryan B. Deboer sold 3,835 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.00, for a total transaction of $345,150.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 153,285 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,795,650. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 6.18% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LAD. US Bancorp DE raised its position in Lithia Motors by 27.7% during the third quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 3,367 shares of the company’s stock worth $275,000 after acquiring an additional 730 shares in the last quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL raised its position in Lithia Motors by 53.1% during the third quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 4,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $400,000 after acquiring an additional 1,700 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC raised its position in Lithia Motors by 96.5% during the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 7,988 shares of the company’s stock worth $652,000 after acquiring an additional 3,922 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in Lithia Motors by 23.2% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 606,370 shares of the company’s stock worth $49,516,000 after acquiring an additional 114,014 shares in the last quarter. Finally, MML Investors Services LLC bought a new stake in Lithia Motors during the third quarter worth $231,000.

Shares of Lithia Motors stock traded down $0.36 on Friday, hitting $89.04. The company had a trading volume of 208,805 shares, compared to its average volume of 270,688. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.07 billion, a PE ratio of 8.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.19. Lithia Motors has a twelve month low of $67.90 and a twelve month high of $107.68. The company has a quick ratio of 0.25, a current ratio of 1.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, March 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.30%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 7th. Lithia Motors’s payout ratio is 11.62%.

About Lithia Motors

Lithia Motors, Inc operates automotive franchises, and retails new and used vehicles in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It sells new and used cars, replacement parts, vehicle service contracts, vehicle protection products, and credit insurance products; provides vehicle maintenance, warranty, paint, and repair services; and arranges related financing.

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