What’s going on with the Bapcor (ASX:BAP) share price and is it a buy?

What’s going on with the Bapcor share price?

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The Bapcor Ltd (ASX: BAP) share price is heading in the right direction at last on Tuesday.

In morning trade, the auto parts retailer’s shares are up 5% to $6.74.

Though, despite today’s solid gain, the Bapcor share price is still down 18% since this time last month.

What’s going on with the Bapcor share price?

Investors have been selling down the Bapcor share price in recent weeks following the announcement of the retirement of its long serving Managing Director and CEO, Darryl Abotomey.

Late last month the company announced that Mr Abotomey would be leaving at the end of February but remain available until the end of June to assist with an orderly transition.

But since the release of that announcement, there was “a marked deterioration in the relationship between the Board and the CEO, such that Mr Abotomey’s position as MD and CEO has become untenable.”

This led to the Bapcor Board electing to bring forward his retirement end date as CEO and director of Bapcor immediately. The company will now look for “a more contemporary leadership and management approach to drive the Company’s growth while also ensuring consistent with changing stakeholders’ expectations.”

The reaction

The Motley Fool’s Analyst, Ryan Newman, has weighed in on recent developments and the company’s future.

He commented: “I would suggest that Darryl Abotomey did a great job of growing the business, from its IPO until now. One thing I have been concerned about, and could be reflected in the “changing stakeholders’ expectations”, is the company’s lack of focus on the changing car parc, in relation to the eventual shift towards electric vehicles.”

Newman notes that the “shift has been slow in Australia, but simply must happen.”  And while it shouldn’t impact the business in the short term, these “strategic shifts absolutely take time.”

In light of this, Newman hopes that an electric vehicle focus will be something that will be “addressed by new management.”

Is this a buying opportunity?

The team at Credit Suisse believe the recent weakness in the Bapcor share price is a buying opportunity. This morning the broker retained its outperform rating, albeit with a trimmed price target of $7.90.

Based on the current Bapcor share price, this implies potential upside of 17% for investors over the next 12 months.

Although Credit Suisse acknowledges that CEO exit has caused significant disruption, it appears confident the company can overcome this and continue its growth.

Should you invest $1,000 in Bapcor right now?

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Bapcor. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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