Zacks: Analysts Anticipate Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI) Will Post Earnings of $2.72 Per Share

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Wall Street brokerages predict that Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI) will report earnings per share (EPS) of $2.72 for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have provided estimates for Group 1 Automotive’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $2.60 to $2.82. Group 1 Automotive posted earnings per share of $2.45 during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 11%. The company is scheduled to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, July 25th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Group 1 Automotive will report full year earnings of $10.03 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $9.65 to $10.42. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $10.28 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $9.60 to $11.11. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Group 1 Automotive.

Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $2.06 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.81 by $0.25. The firm had revenue of $2.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.86 billion. Group 1 Automotive had a return on equity of 15.56% and a net margin of 1.38%. The company’s revenue was down 1.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.70 earnings per share.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on GPI. ValuEngine upgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 20th. Buckingham Research lowered Group 1 Automotive from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $72.00 to $83.00 in a report on Friday, April 26th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Group 1 Automotive from $55.00 to $67.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Group 1 Automotive from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 16th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Group 1 Automotive in a report on Tuesday, February 19th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $77.00 price target for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $84.00.

Group 1 Automotive stock traded down $0.46 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $77.34. 129,700 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 158,284. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.68, a PEG ratio of 1.53 and a beta of 1.78. The company has a quick ratio of 0.23, a current ratio of 1.00 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.30. Group 1 Automotive has a 12 month low of $48.69 and a 12 month high of $81.65.

Group 1 Automotive declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, February 21st that allows the company to buyback $75.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 17th. Stockholders of record on Monday, June 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.26 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 31st. This represents a $1.04 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.34%. Group 1 Automotive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 11.67%.

In other news, insider Michael David Jones sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.76, for a total transaction of $194,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 13,921 shares in the company, valued at $1,082,496.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 6.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the first quarter valued at $37,000. Denali Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the first quarter valued at $58,000. Investors Research Corp acquired a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the first quarter valued at $84,000. Raymond James & Associates acquired a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the first quarter valued at $220,000. Finally, 6 Meridian acquired a new position in shares of Group 1 Automotive in the first quarter valued at $224,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.96% of the company’s stock.

Group 1 Automotive Company Profile

Group 1 Automotive, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates in the automotive retail industry. The company sells new and used cars, light trucks, and vehicle parts, as well as service insurance contracts; arranges related vehicle financing; and offers automotive maintenance and repair services. It has operations primarily in the metropolitan areas in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas in the United States; 32 towns in the United Kingdom; and metropolitan markets in the states of Sao Paulo, Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Santa Catarina, Brazil.

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