Today, The Zacks Investment Research Upgraded KAR Auction Services Inc. (KAR) to “Hold”

Today, The Zacks Investment Research Upgraded KAR Auction Services Inc. (KAR) to “Hold”
KAR Auction Services Inc. (NYSE:KAR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “KAR Auction Services, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as a used vehicle and salvage auto auction company in North America. The company operates in three segments: ADESA, IAAI, and AFC. The ADESA segment provides whole car auctions and related services to commercial fleet operators, financial institutions, rental car companies, used vehicle dealers, vehicle manufacturers and their captive finance companies, and franchised and independent used vehicle dealers. This segment also provides value-added ancillary services, such as inspections, storage, transportation, reconditioning and titling, and other administrative services. The IAAI segment offers salvage vehicle auctions and related services. The AFC segment offers short-term and inventory-secured financing, known as floorplan financing, to independent used vehicle dealers. KAR Auction Services, Inc. is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. “

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on KAR. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Jefferies Group lifted their target price on KAR Auction Services from $47.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Macquarie reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research report on Monday, August 29th. Finally, Susquehanna initiated coverage on KAR Auction Services in a research report on Friday, August 26th. They set a “positive” rating and a $50.00 target price on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $43.71.

Shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) traded up 2.59% on Tuesday, reaching $41.55. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,422,254 shares. KAR Auction Services has a 52-week low of $31.54 and a 52-week high of $44.10. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $41.83 and its 200-day moving average is $41.59. The stock has a market cap of $5.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.66 and a beta of 1.41.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $773.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $770.84 million. KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 7.58% and a return on equity of 19.45%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 16.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.47 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that KAR Auction Services will post $2.08 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 6th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, December 21st will be paid a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 19th. This is a positive change from KAR Auction Services’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.08%. KAR Auction Services’s payout ratio is presently 71.60%.

In related news, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 18,125 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.51, for a total transaction of $697,993.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Benjamin Skuy sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.74, for a total value of $427,400.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 87,420 shares in the company, valued at $3,736,330.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in KAR. RWC Asset Management LLP bought a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the third quarter worth about $5,410,000. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in KAR Auction Services by 6.8% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 7,703,262 shares of the company’s stock worth $332,473,000 after buying an additional 493,040 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its stake in KAR Auction Services by 105.7% in the third quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 37,070 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,599,000 after buying an additional 19,049 shares during the last quarter. Credit Suisse AG raised its stake in KAR Auction Services by 192.8% in the third quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 830,229 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,832,000 after buying an additional 546,682 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC bought a new stake in KAR Auction Services during the third quarter worth about $2,193,000.

KAR Auction Services Company Profile

KAR Auction Services, Inc is a provider of whole car auction services in North America, and salvage auction services in North America and the United Kingdom. The Company operates through three segments: ADESA, Inc (ADESA Auctions), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC).

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