Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has a $87.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.07% from the company’s previous close.

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. “

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on ABG. Craig Hallum raised Asbury Automotive Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Asbury Automotive Group from $85.00 to $87.00 and gave the company 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 target for the company. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $81.67.

ABG stock opened at $77.63 on Tuesday. Asbury Automotive Group has a fifty-two week low of $58.60 and a fifty-two week high of $82.30. The firm has a market cap of $1.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.62 and a beta of 1.22. The company has a quick ratio of 0.33, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.85.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 23rd. The company reported $2.20 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.92 by $0.28. Asbury Automotive Group had a return on equity of 36.35% and a net margin of 2.43%. The firm had revenue of $1.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.67 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.93 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Asbury Automotive Group will post 8.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, SVP Jed Milstein sold 1,300 shares of Asbury Automotive Group stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $78.36, for a total value of $101,868.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 11,727 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $918,927.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP William Frederick Stax sold 1,000 shares of Asbury Automotive Group stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.15, for a total value of $79,150.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 3,888 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $307,735.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 38,599 shares of company stock valued at $3,013,949 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.36% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 24.5% in the 1st 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 during the period. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 167.0% in the 1st 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 during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 14.4% in the 1st 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 during the period. Man Group plc increased its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 15.4% in the 1st 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 during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 1.1% in the 1st 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 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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