KAR Auction Services (KAR) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday, January 3rd.

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 commented on KAR. Stephens lowered KAR Auction Services from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $51.00 to $48.00 in a report on Thursday, September 7th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on KAR Auction Services from $52.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, October 30th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of KAR Auction Services in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Gabelli lowered KAR Auction Services from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company. in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. KAR Auction Services presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $52.80.

Shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) traded up $1.01 on Wednesday, hitting $53.01. The stock had a trading volume of 559,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 699,925. KAR Auction Services has a 12-month low of $40.27 and a 12-month high of $53.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90, a quick ratio of 1.35 and a current ratio of 1.35. The stock has a market cap of $7,030.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.18, a PEG ratio of 1.50 and a beta of 1.08.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 31st. The specialty retailer reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.06. KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 22.37% and a net margin of 6.94%. The firm had revenue of $843.00 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $846.42 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.50 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that KAR Auction Services will post 2.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, COO Donald S. Gottwald sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.14, for a total value of $481,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Benjamin Skuy sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.50, for a total value of $582,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 32,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,575,200 in the last 90 days. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in KAR Auction Services by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 11,344,446 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $476,126,000 after purchasing an additional 57,704 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in KAR Auction Services by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,726,037 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $240,320,000 after purchasing an additional 107,601 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. grew its position in KAR Auction Services by 2.9% during the 3rd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,207,071 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $153,105,000 after purchasing an additional 91,373 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group grew its position in KAR Auction Services by 11.1% during the 3rd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 3,033,008 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $142,612,000 after purchasing an additional 302,029 shares during the period. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its position in KAR Auction Services by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,147,425 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $100,972,000 after purchasing an additional 30,299 shares during the period. 99.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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 or ADESA), Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc (IAA) and Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC).

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