Asbury Automotive Group Inc (NYSE:ABG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Monday, October 2nd.

According to Zacks, “Asbury Automotive Group is one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States. They sell, finance and service a diverse range of foreign and domestic automobile brands. “

Several other equities analysts have also commented on ABG. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on shares of Asbury Automotive Group from $56.00 to $53.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub raised shares of Asbury Automotive Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $60.00 price target (down previously from $68.00) on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Craig Hallum reissued a “hold” rating and set a $55.00 price target (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 price target (down previously from $68.00) on shares of Asbury Automotive Group in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.75.

Shares of Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE ABG) traded up 0.26% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $57.55. 127,947 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $57.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $56.80. Asbury Automotive Group has a 52-week low of $47.50 and a 52-week high of $71.00. The firm has a market cap of $1.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.49 and a beta of 1.45.

Asbury Automotive Group (NYSE:ABG) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $1.58 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by ($0.09). Asbury Automotive Group had a net margin of 2.53% and a return on equity of 46.58%. The business had revenue of $1.63 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.65 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.65 EPS. Asbury Automotive Group’s revenue for the quarter was up .3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Asbury Automotive Group will post $6.30 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Asbury Automotive Group news, insider William Frederick Stax sold 495 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.25, for a total transaction of $26,853.75. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 4,586 shares in the company, valued at approximately $248,790.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Dennis E. Clements sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.66, for a total transaction of $293,300.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 20,531 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,204,348.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 110,444 shares of company stock valued at $5,700,889. 11.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group in the second quarter worth approximately $1,291,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 8.3% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 171,667 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,318,000 after acquiring an additional 13,156 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 0.7% in the second quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 7,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $402,000 after acquiring an additional 51 shares during the period. River Road Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 34.6% in the second quarter. River Road Asset Management LLC now owns 478,834 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,078,000 after acquiring an additional 122,969 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Asbury Automotive Group by 116,095.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,514,474 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,120,000 after acquiring an additional 2,512,310 shares during the period.

About Asbury Automotive Group

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc is an automotive retailer in the United States. As of December 31, 2016, the Company owned and operated 93 new vehicle franchises, representing 28 brands of automobiles at 77 dealership locations, and 23 collision centers in the United States. In addition, as of December 31, 2016, it owned and operated two standalone used vehicle stores in Florida.

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