NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Asbury Automotive Group (ABG) shares are up 3.4% to $59.46 on Thursday.
The increase comes after analyst at BB&T Capital (BBT) upgraded the company's share rating to "buy" from "hold".
The upgrade follows a positive first quarter earnings report that showed the company posted record earnings of $1.03 cents per share, beating analysts estimates by 17 cents.
The company posted revenue of $1.4 billion for the quarter, beating analysts estimates of $1.3 billion.
Must Read: Warren Buffett's 10 Favorite Growth Stocks
TheStreet Ratings team rates ASBURY AUTOMOTIVE GROUP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate ASBURY AUTOMOTIVE GROUP INC (ABG) a BUY. This is driven by a number of strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows: