KAR Auction Services (KAR) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday.

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 also recently commented on KAR. Barrington Research set a $70.00 target price on shares of KAR Auction Services and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, November 5th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of KAR Auction Services from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 4th. Finally, SunTrust Banks dropped their target price on shares of KAR Auction Services to $65.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Monday, January 7th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $64.57.

KAR stock opened at $49.30 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.70, a current ratio of 1.32 and a quick ratio of 1.32. KAR Auction Services has a 1 year low of $45.36 and a 1 year high of $64.55. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.54 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 1.22.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 6th. The specialty retailer reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.71 by ($0.01). KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 11.62% and a return on equity of 26.50%. The business had revenue of $933.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $910.43 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.57 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that KAR Auction Services will post 2.92 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 4th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, December 20th were issued a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 19th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.84%. KAR Auction Services’s payout ratio is 56.00%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of KAR Auction Services during the 3rd quarter valued at about $100,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in KAR Auction Services in the second quarter valued at about $121,000. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd acquired a new position in KAR Auction Services in the third quarter valued at about $153,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its position in KAR Auction Services by 1,334.5% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,199 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $175,000 after buying an additional 2,976 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Park Avenue Securities LLC acquired a new position in KAR Auction Services in the third quarter valued at about $202,000. Institutional investors own 97.26% of the company’s stock.

About KAR Auction Services

KAR Auction Services, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, provides used car auction and salvage auction services in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. The company operates through three segments: ADESA Auctions, IAA, and AFC. The ADESA Auctions segment offers whole car auctions and related services to the vehicle remarketing industry through online auctions and auction facilities.

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