Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, September 19th.

According to Zacks, “Genuine Parts’ long-term debt has risen in recent times, mainly due to funding of the acquisition of AAG. Also, high debt, rising SG&A expenses and labor shortages are few concerns for the company. Over the past three months, shares of the company have underperformed the industry it belongs to. However, Further, the company is undertaking investments and acquisitions to expand its product portfolio and footprint in Europe. This has encouraged the company to raise the guidance for 2018.”

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on GPC. Wedbush lifted their price objective on shares of Genuine Parts from $93.00 to $100.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, July 20th. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on shares of Genuine Parts to $99.00 and gave the stock a sector perform rating in a research note on Thursday, July 12th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $102.80.

Shares of GPC traded up $0.10 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $94.85. The stock had a trading volume of 1,308,915 shares, compared to its average volume of 827,849. Genuine Parts has a one year low of $84.71 and a one year high of $107.75. The company has a market cap of $14.59 billion, a PE ratio of 20.44, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.64 and a beta of 1.17. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.70, a current ratio of 1.33 and a quick ratio of 0.71.

Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 19th. The specialty retailer reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.58 by $0.01. Genuine Parts had a net margin of 3.78% and a return on equity of 21.62%. The company had revenue of $4.82 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.69 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.29 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 17.6% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Genuine Parts will post 5.66 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 7th were paid a dividend of $0.72 per share. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.04%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, September 6th. Genuine Parts’s dividend payout ratio is presently 62.07%.

In other news, insider James R. Neill sold 512 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.94, for a total transaction of $50,145.28. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 5,661 shares in the company, valued at approximately $554,438.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of GPC. Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Inc. bought a new position in Genuine Parts in the 2nd quarter valued at about $205,387,000. American International Group Inc. increased its holdings in Genuine Parts by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 178,335 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $16,369,000 after buying an additional 1,801 shares during the period. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec increased its holdings in Genuine Parts by 23.3% in the 2nd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 3,533,815 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $324,369,000 after buying an additional 667,620 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE increased its holdings in Genuine Parts by 318.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 7,036,209 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $645,853,000 after buying an additional 5,354,849 shares during the period. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in Genuine Parts by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 978,807 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $89,845,000 after buying an additional 30,313 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.62% of the company’s stock.

Genuine Parts Company Profile

Genuine Parts Company distributes automotive replacement and industrial parts, electrical and electronic materials, and business products in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australasia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland. The company distributes automotive replacement parts for imported vehicles, trucks, SUVs, buses, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, farm vehicles, small engines, farm equipment, and heavy duty equipment through 57 NAPA automotive parts distribution centers and 1,100 NAPA AUTO PARTS stores.

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