Shares of Cars.com, Chicago, recently traded at $9.45, up 18%. They have dropped 23% year to date.
Craig-Hallum’s Steve Dyer lifted Cars.com’s rating to buy from hold and his share-price target to $14 from $12.
Cars.com reported stronger-than-expected preliminary earnings, showing higher earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the first time in four years, he wrote in a commentary, according to The Fly.
The company estimated third-quarter revenue at $142 million to $144 million and an adjusted Ebitda margin of 33% to 34%.
It expects a net loss of $10 million to $12 million, due primarily to a $31 million noncash charge.
The company increased its dealer community by about 100 in the quarter, a positive sign, Dyer said. He likes the stock’s valuation along with 20% free cash flow.
The company has a price-sales multiple of 0.97, compared with 2.44 for the Morningstar U.S. Market Index, according to Morningstar. And the company’s price-to-book-value multiple, 1.64%, compares with 3.46% for the index.
Meanwhile, B. Riley Securities analyst Lee Krowl upgraded Cars.com to buy from neutral, boosting his share-price target to $11 from $9.
Consumer auto demand is rebounding, he wrote in a commentary cited by The Fly. That offsets inventory shortages for new and used cars, he said.
Krowl previously rated Cars.com neutral because of dealer retention and leverage issues, "both of which saw notable improvements" in the latest quarter, he said.