AutoNation’s (AN) “Market Perform” Rating Reaffirmed at Wells Fargo & Company

Wells Fargo & Company reiterated their market perform rating on shares of AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning, The Fly reports. The brokerage currently has a $50.00 target price on the stock, up from their prior target price of $40.00.

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on AN. BidaskClub downgraded shares of AutoNation from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Saturday, August 5th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a hold rating and set a $43.00 target price (down from $46.00) on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Wednesday, August 9th. UBS AG downgraded shares of AutoNation from a positive rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. KeyCorp reissued a hold rating on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Northcoast Research downgraded shares of AutoNation from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $46.88.

AutoNation (AN) opened at $51.45 on Monday. AutoNation has a 52-week low of $38.20 and a 52-week high of $55.77. The firm has a market cap of $4,741.94, a P/E ratio of 13.46, a PEG ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.17 and a current ratio of 0.73.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.16. AutoNation had a net margin of 1.87% and a return on equity of 16.40%. The firm had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.58 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.05 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that AutoNation will post 3.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

In related news, major shareholder Edward S. Lampert sold 3,480 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.61, for a total value of $193,522.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 3.10% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in AutoNation by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,785,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $286,078,000 after purchasing an additional 147,424 shares in the last quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership lifted its stake in AutoNation by 76.5% in the 2nd quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 5,181,954 shares of the company’s stock worth $218,471,000 after purchasing an additional 2,245,935 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in AutoNation by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,192,696 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,762,000 after purchasing an additional 17,314 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in AutoNation by 56.3% in the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,266,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $155,036,000 after purchasing an additional 1,176,042 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Orbis Allan Gray Ltd lifted its stake in AutoNation by 141.7% in the 2nd quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd now owns 2,444,847 shares of the company’s stock worth $103,075,000 after purchasing an additional 1,433,472 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.46% of the company’s stock.

About AutoNation

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.

The Fly

Analyst Recommendations for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

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