Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. recently revealed a 13.9% decrease in its holdings for Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2020 in its most recent 13F filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). During the said quarter, Oppenheimer decreased approximately 1,296 shares, owning a total of 7,996 shares worth $1,637,000 by the end of it.
In addition to this update from Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc., it was also announced that Lithia Motors will pay a quarterly dividend on Friday, May 26th. Shareholders recorded on Friday, May 12th payment of $0.50 per share is entitled to an increase from Lithia Motor’s previous paying amount of $0.42 each quarter. Through this change, Lithia Motor’s annualized dividend will be at $2.00 represented by its dividend yield standing at .92%. Taking into account that company’s Payout ratio is presently 4.90%, this can be viewed as an excellent stock opportunity.
Multiple research firms have weighed in on LAD with various assessments and evaluations after witnessing their dependability amidst unprecedented economic times amongst other factors affecting business operations for all organizations across different sectors globally.
Wells Fargo & Company increased price targets alongside ratings while TheStreet upgraded LAD from C+ to B-. On the other hand Guggenheim downgraded LAD stock price target from $332-$320 buy rating staying firm before rumors about pandemic taking storm took hold along with lowering prices simultaneously Morgan Stanley reduced their price objectives from $200-$198 while providing an understandably underweight report indicating weak performance when compared to other stocks and mentioning holding as a smarter option currently than selling off shares.
StockNews.com also ended up covering LAD after several subsequent reports surfaced amounting them currently holding onto stocks at Hold rating. Despite this, as per Bloomberg, LAD holds an average target price of $300.56 with a general consensus rating currently marked “Hold.”
In any case, these reports are expected to provide essential insight towards Lithia Motor’s recent performance and aid in shaping prospective shareholders’ understanding of the company’s financial status moving forward.
Institutional Investors Increase Stakes on Lithia Motors Despite Pandemic Headwinds
Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD), a prominent American automotive retailer with a market capitalization of approximately $5.95 billion, is in the news with several large institutional investors adding or reducing their stakes in the company. According to the latest reports, Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC increased its position in LAD by 33.6% in Q3-2019 and now owns over 1,289,293 shares worth $276,618,000 after purchasing an additional 324,492 shares during this period. Baupost Group LLC MA also purchased a new position in Lithia Motors worth around $53,638,000 last quarter while MFN Partners Management LP boosted its stake by 43.0% in Q1-2020 and currently owns 751,077 shares of LAD worth $225,413,000.
Eaton Vance Management also boosted its position by nearly 38 thousand percent in Q1-2020 and now owns 171,263 shares worth $51,400,000 after purchasing an additional 170812 shares during this period. Finally, Brave Warrior Advisors LLC raised its ownership percentage with an additional purchase of nearly 144907 more LAD shares last quarter representing a rise of about 14.6%. The investment firm now owns over 1.13 million outstanding LAD common stocks valued at approximately $243773000.
Meanwhile on May 1st,DIRECTOR SHAUNA McINTYRE has sold around just two hundred Lithia Motors’ (NYSE:LAD) company’s stock at an average price of $224.75 for a total transaction value of around $44K. Insider ownership stands at just under two percent as of writing while institutional ownership accounts for the remaining ninety eight-point-two-one percent.
Apart from recent investments ownership updates from institutional investors and insider trading activities respectively; share dividends have risen too reflecting increasing company revenues. The latest reports indicate that Lithia Motors will pay a $0.50 quarterly dividend to stockholders of record on May 12th which represents an increment from the previous dividend amount of $0.42 per share.
Analysts feel that some uncertainties abound in LAD’s outlook as demand for new vehicles fell amidst lockdowns and Coronavirus related market uncertainties. Shares of LAD opened at $217.55 on Thursday, down from the 1-year high price of $314.83 recorded last year but still significantly higher than its 1-year low of $180.00 set last March. LAD continues to maintain its long term debt-to-equity ratio below its industry average of 1.12x with a current ratio above industry standards while targeting the broader EV market through acquisitions such as Driveway and Fusz dealerships earlier this year.
Despite falling short of consensus earnings estimates for Q1-2020 reflecting pandemic headwinds, investors are drawn towards the growth potential offered by Lithia Motors with its PEG Ratio of 1.60%, beta ranking in the top quartile amongst industry peers and increased focus on boosting e-commerce sales channels . According to most analysts surveyed by sources close to various stock markets, including NASDAQ, Lithia Motors is expected to register EPS growth rates exceeding thirty four-point-three percent over the financial year displaying recovery potentials stemming from anticipated pent-up consumer demand strengthened by low-interest rates and an expanding digital presence hence keeping Industrials sector analysts busier than ever over their performance viewpoints for subsequent quarters moving forward into fiscal year-end.