KAR Auction Services Inc (NYSE:KAR) Short Interest Up 83.1% in September

KAR Auction Services Inc (NYSE:KAR) was the target of a large growth in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 18,020,000 shares, a growth of 83.1% from the August 30th total of 9,840,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,830,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 6.4 days. Currently, 13.6% of the shares of the company are sold short.

Shares of KAR Auction Services stock traded up $0.22 on Friday, hitting $23.80. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,301,527 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,418,050. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00, a quick ratio of 1.14 and a current ratio of 1.14. KAR Auction Services has a 1 year low of $16.41 and a 1 year high of $28.61. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $25.33 and a 200-day moving average price of $40.02. The company has a market capitalization of $3.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.34 and a beta of 1.07.

KAR Auction Services (NYSE:KAR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 6th. The specialty retailer reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.40 by ($0.10). KAR Auction Services had a net margin of 7.67% and a return on equity of 19.93%. The business had revenue of $719.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $692.00 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.82 EPS. KAR Auction Services’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts forecast that KAR Auction Services will post 1.23 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, September 20th were paid a $0.19 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 19th. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.19%. KAR Auction Services’s dividend payout ratio is presently 25.68%.

A number of research firms have weighed in on KAR. Guggenheim lowered KAR Auction Services from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $20.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, July 2nd. SunTrust Banks reduced their price objective on KAR Auction Services from $65.00 to $30.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, July 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded KAR Auction Services from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 29th. Robert W. Baird began coverage on KAR Auction Services in a research note on Friday, June 28th. They set an “outperform” rating for the company. Finally, Barrington Research restated a “buy” rating and issued a $42.50 price target on shares of KAR Auction Services in a research note on Friday, June 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.58.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in KAR. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora boosted its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora now owns 34,666 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $867,000 after buying an additional 477 shares during the last quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 6.3% in the 2nd quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 9,464 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $264,000 after buying an additional 565 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 7.9% in the 1st quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 8,065 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $414,000 after buying an additional 588 shares during the last quarter. AGF Investments LLC boosted its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 13.5% in the 2nd quarter. AGF Investments LLC now owns 5,340 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 636 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Signet Financial Management LLC boosted its holdings in KAR Auction Services by 2.9% in the 2nd quarter. Signet Financial Management LLC now owns 22,862 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $611,000 after buying an additional 651 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.42% 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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