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Why the AP Eagers share price gained 20% in July

miniature cars driving along an upward pointing arrow
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Automotive retail group, AP Eagers Ltd’s (ASX: APE), share price rose 20.2% in July. And that came after falling 9.4% from the beginning of the month through to 10 July. The impressive rise in the AP Eagers share price was enough to place it in the top group of gainers on the All Ordinaries (INDEXASX: XAO).

By comparison, the All Ords gained 0.9% in July.

The AP Eagers share price was hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdowns, tumbling 72% from its 20 January peak to its 25 March trough. By the end of July, however, it had rebounded a remarkable 180% from that low to trade at $8.11 per share.

Even with that huge gain, though, the share price still ended July down 18.5% from the opening bell on 2 January.

With an additional 2.6% share price gain so far in August, the company currently has a market cap of $2.1 billion.

What does AP Eagers do?

AP Eagers Ltd is Australia’s oldest listed automotive retail group, operating new and used car, truck and bus dealerships across the country.

The company traces its origins all the way back to 1913. It officially listed on the ASX in 1957. Notably, in 2019, AP Eagers completed a transformative merger with the formerly ASX-listed Automotive Holdings Group.

Today, AP Eagers has a portfolio comprising over 200 new car dealerships across Australia and New Zealand. With this, the company operates dealerships for a range of automotive brands including 19 of the 20 top-selling car brands in Australia and 9 of the top 10 luxury car brands.

Additionally, AP Eagers has a number of truck and bus dealerships in Australia and owns more than $300 million of real estate in prime locations across the nation.

AP Eagers has paid a dividend to shareholders every year since listing in 1957.

Why did the AP Eagers share price soar in July?

The AP Eagers share price really took off on 20 July, gaining 28.3% from 20 July through to the end of the month. This surpasses the 20.2% share price gain achieved over the full month.

The company’s share price was most likely spurred by a broker note from Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services giant, UBS, after its analysts initiated coverage with a buy rating and $7.90 price target. At the time of writing, the AP Eagers share price is trading at $8.30.

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Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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