May 6, 2023 – Lithia Motors (NYSE:LAD), a leading automotive retailer, opened at $207.13 on Friday. The company has been in operation for over 75 years and currently has a market capitalization of $5.66 billion. With a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.07, a quick ratio of 0.33 and a current ratio of 1.30, the company appears to be well-positioned for growth.
The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $227.52 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $228.03. Despite this, the company’s stock has experienced some recent volatility causing several other research analysts to issue reports on LAD.
Guggenheim reportedly lowered its price target on Lithia Motors from $332.00 to $320.00 while simultaneously issuing a “buy” rating for the company in April of this year. Similarly, Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on shares of Lithia Motors from $200.00 to $198.00 and set an “underweight” rating due to concerns about potential losses for investors.
In contrast, TheStreet raised Lithia Motor’s rating from “c+” to “b-” in February and Wells Fargo & Company gave the company an “equal weight” rating while boosting its target price from $233.00 to $262.00.
Despite these mixed opinions, Bloomberg.com data shows that there is currently a consensus rating of “Hold” with an average target price hovering around $300.
Recently Director Shauna Mcintyre sold 167 shares of LAD in late February at an average price point of roughly $260 resulting in her netting approximately $43,420 in earnings following the transaction.
Finally, during their quarterly earnings call held last month on April 19th, Lithia Motors announced revenue figures less than what some analysts had predicted – coming in at $6.97 billion rather than the anticipated $7.28 billion. Despite this shortfall, Lithia managed to earn $8.44 per share in profits for the quarter.
Overall, it seems that despite some recent turbulence that the team at Lithia Motors may have what it takes to drive the company forward long-term given their solid financials and history of growth.
Lithia Motors Faces Q1 2024 Earnings Challenges, Raises Dividend in Attempt to Boost Investor Confidence
Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) has faced significant challenges recently, with analysts at Zacks Research lowering their Q1 2024 earnings per share estimates for the company. According to the new projections released on Wednesday, May 3rd, Lithia Motors is expected to post earnings per share of $7.62 for the quarter. This represents a significant decrease from earlier predictions of $8.19 and hints at potential trouble ahead for the automotive company.
The consensus estimate for Lithia Motors’ current full-year earnings is slightly more optimistic at $34.11 per share, however, the decline in projected Q1 results should serve as a warning sign to investors. Zacks Research also issued estimates for Lithia Motors’ Q2 2024 earnings, estimating $8.81 EPS.
It’s not all bad news for shareholders though, as Lithia Motors recently announced a quarterly dividend that will be paid out on Friday, May 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 12th will receive a $0.50 dividend per share after the ex-dividend date of Thursday, May 11th passes. This increase marks a healthy boost from the previous quarterly dividend of $0.42 and could offer encouragement to investors who are otherwise concerned about the company’s future prospects.
The payout ratio currently sits at a modest 4.12%, indicating that despite some uncertainty about its performance in the short term and difficult economic conditions around it right now not only was it able to sustain its payouts but raise them too.
Ultimately this mix of good news and bad leaves questions hanging over Lithia Motors’ fortunes moving forward, but investors will no doubt continue watching developments closely in hopes of finding any more indications about what lies ahead for one of America’s biggest automotive companies in an industry that is increasingly becoming tech-focused rather than hardware dependent as regarding their electric vehicle development program which could ultimately breathe new life into it.