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

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Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The firm presently has a $77.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 10.27% 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. “

ABG has been the topic of several other reports. ValuEngine upgraded Asbury Automotive Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Asbury Automotive Group from $71.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Buckingham Research lifted their price objective on Asbury Automotive Group from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, SunTrust Banks cut their price objective on Asbury Automotive Group to $70.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.50.

ABG traded up $0.81 on Tuesday, hitting $69.83. 12,080 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 217,496. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.77, a current ratio of 1.21 and a quick ratio of 0.36. Asbury Automotive Group has a 12 month low of $58.60 and a 12 month high of $77.75. The firm has a market cap of $1.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.30, a PEG ratio of 0.58 and a beta of 1.19.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 6th. The company reported $2.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.07 by $0.13. Asbury Automotive Group had a return on equity of 37.81% and a net margin of 2.44%. The business had revenue of $1.78 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.73 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.81 EPS. Asbury Automotive Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Asbury Automotive Group will post 8.63 EPS for the current year.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of ABG. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 29.7% in the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,419 shares of the company’s stock worth $95,000 after buying an additional 325 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 31.9% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,611 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 390 shares during the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank bought a new stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $273,000. Rafferty Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $278,000. Finally, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its position in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 25.1% during the third quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 4,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $334,000 after purchasing an additional 975 shares in the last quarter.

About Asbury Automotive Group

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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