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KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

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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 weighed in on KAR. CJS Securities cut shares of KAR Auction Services from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Thursday. ValuEngine upgraded shares of KAR Auction Services from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $33.58.

KAR traded down $0.17 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $21.50. 2,504,173 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,615,075. The company’s 50-day moving average is $24.56 and its 200 day moving average is $36.11. KAR Auction Services has a 52 week low of $16.41 and a 52 week high of $28.61. The company has a quick ratio of 1.14, a current ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.86 billion, a PE ratio of 7.26, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 1.06.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 5th. The specialty retailer reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by ($0.04). KAR Auction Services had a return on equity of 16.83% and a net margin of 6.95%. The business had revenue of $701.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $697.46 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.70 EPS. KAR Auction Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that KAR Auction Services will post 1.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, December 20th will be issued a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, December 19th. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio is 25.68%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Baskin Financial Services Inc. purchased a new stake in KAR Auction Services in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $260,000. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 44.5% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,416,468 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $85,412,000 after acquiring an additional 1,052,915 shares in the last quarter. Clear Street Markets LLC purchased a new stake in KAR Auction Services in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,366,000. Boston Financial Mangement LLC increased its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Boston Financial Mangement LLC now owns 484,611 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $12,115,000 after acquiring an additional 4,043 shares in the last quarter. Finally, RMB Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in KAR Auction Services in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,298,000. 99.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

KAR Auction Services Company Profile

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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