Lakewood Capital Management LP Buys 310,000 Shares of Lithia Motors Inc (LAD)

Lakewood Capital Management LP raised its stake in Lithia Motors Inc (NYSE:LAD) by 67.5% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 769,169 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 310,000 shares during the period. Lithia Motors makes up 1.9% of Lakewood Capital Management LP’s portfolio, making the stock its 18th biggest position. Lakewood Capital Management LP owned approximately 3.27% of Lithia Motors worth $58,711,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Nomura Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of Lithia Motors in the fourth quarter worth about $1,564,000. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 235,713 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,991,000 after buying an additional 6,663 shares during the period. Brown Advisory Inc. raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 5.6% in the fourth quarter. Brown Advisory Inc. now owns 14,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,110,000 after buying an additional 769 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 17.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,323,683 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,036,000 after buying an additional 200,381 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its stake in shares of Lithia Motors by 16.2% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 4,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $328,000 after buying an additional 600 shares during the period.

Several research analysts have recently commented on LAD shares. ValuEngine downgraded Lithia Motors from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised Lithia Motors from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $79.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, December 12th. TheStreet raised Lithia Motors from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on Lithia Motors in a research note on Tuesday, February 19th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $112.00 price objective on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $106.29.

In related news, Director Susan O. Cain sold 1,462 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $87.15, for a total transaction of $127,413.30. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,849 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $945,490.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Bryan B. Deboer sold 3,835 shares of Lithia Motors stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.00, for a total value of $345,150.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 153,285 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,795,650. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 6.18% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Shares of LAD opened at $87.94 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $2.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.19. Lithia Motors Inc has a 12-month low of $67.90 and a 12-month high of $107.30. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.13, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 1.20.

Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The company reported $2.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.45 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $2.97 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.01 billion. Lithia Motors had a return on equity of 20.82% and a net margin of 2.25%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $2.15 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Lithia Motors Inc will post 10.24 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 22nd. Investors of record on Friday, March 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.29 per share. This represents a $1.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 7th. Lithia Motors’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 11.62%.

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Lithia Motors Profile

Lithia Motors, Inc operates automotive franchises, and retails new and used vehicles in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import, and Luxury. It sells new and used cars, replacement parts, vehicle service contracts, vehicle protection products, and credit insurance products; provides vehicle maintenance, warranty, paint, and repair services; and arranges related financing.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD)

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