AutoNation, Inc. (AN) Sets New 12-Month High Following Strong Earnings

AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) shares hit a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $54.49 and last traded at $0.00, with a volume of shares. The company reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.16. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.58 billion. AutoNation had a return on equity of 16.03% and a net margin of 1.87%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.05 EPS.

AutoNation declared that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, August 29th that permits the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy up to 6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of research firms have recently commented on AN. ValuEngine cut AutoNation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $43.00 target price (down previously from $46.00) on shares of AutoNation in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Buckingham Research lowered their target price on AutoNation from $44.00 to $35.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Berenberg Bank began coverage on AutoNation in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $55.00 target price for the company. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC raised their target price on AutoNation from $44.00 to $50.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.25.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AN. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its position in AutoNation by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 4,890 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 24 shares in the last quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. bought a new position in AutoNation during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $209,000. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its position in AutoNation by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 4,826 shares of the company’s stock valued at $215,000 after buying an additional 372 shares in the last quarter. Nomura Holdings Inc. bought a new position in AutoNation during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $219,000. Finally, Greatmark Investment Partners Inc. bought a new position in AutoNation during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $231,000. 74.37% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,898.89, a PE ratio of 13.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 1.24.

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AutoNation Company Profile

AutoNation, Inc (AutoNation) is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company offers a range of automotive products and services, including new vehicles, used vehicles, parts and service, which includes automotive repair and maintenance services, as well as wholesale parts and collision businesses, and automotive finance and insurance products, including vehicle service and other protection products, as well as the arranging of financing for vehicle purchases through third-party finance sources.

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