ValuEngine Upgrades AutoNation, Inc. (AN) to “Buy”

AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) was upgraded by equities researchers at ValuEngine from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, November 2nd.

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Berenberg Bank started coverage on AutoNation in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. They set a “buy” rating and a $55.00 price objective for the company. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $43.00 price objective (down previously from $46.00) on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Sunday, September 10th. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $45.00 price objective (down previously from $48.50) on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Monday, July 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.88.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) traded up $0.51 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $53.24. 828,400 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,340,343. The company has a market capitalization of $4,812.65, a PE ratio of 13.66, a P/E/G ratio of 2.20 and a beta of 1.24. AutoNation has a twelve month low of $38.20 and a twelve month high of $55.77. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.16. The business had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.58 billion. AutoNation had a net margin of 1.87% and a return on equity of 16.40%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.05 earnings per share. analysts predict that AutoNation will post 3.73 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

AutoNation declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, August 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other AutoNation news, COO Lance E. Iserman sold 5,886 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.46, for a total value of $308,779.56. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 4,860 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $254,955.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Donna L. Parlapiano sold 3,367 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.81, for a total value of $174,444.27. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,469 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $594,208.89. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 12,733 shares of company stock valued at $676,747. 3.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its position in AutoNation by 8.4% in the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 4,826 shares of the company’s stock worth $215,000 after buying an additional 372 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in AutoNation by 35.4% during the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 23,240 shares of the company’s stock valued at $981,000 after buying an additional 6,082 shares during the period. Private Management Group Inc. raised its holdings in AutoNation by 43.9% during the 2nd quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 728,091 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,696,000 after buying an additional 222,267 shares during the period. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd purchased a new stake in AutoNation during the 2nd quarter valued at $2,304,000. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its holdings in AutoNation by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 348,313 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,685,000 after buying an additional 21,198 shares during the period. 83.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

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