Brokerages Expect AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) Will Post Quarterly Sales of $5.56 Billion

Equities research analysts forecast that AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) will announce $5.56 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have made estimates for AutoNation’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $5.75 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $5.41 billion. AutoNation posted sales of $5.55 billion in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 0.2%. The business is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, February 9th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that AutoNation will report full year sales of $20.17 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $20.02 billion to $20.36 billion. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the firm will report sales of $21.49 billion, with estimates ranging from $21.05 billion to $21.83 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for AutoNation.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The company reported $2.38 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.65 by $0.73. The firm had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.19 billion. AutoNation had a return on equity of 17.17% and a net margin of 1.92%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.11 EPS.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on AN. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on AutoNation from $54.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, December 7th. ValuEngine cut AutoNation from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 1st. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on AutoNation in a report on Monday, October 19th. They issued a “neutral” rating for the company. Finally, Bank of America lifted their target price on AutoNation from $77.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 17th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.86.

In other AutoNation news, Director Robert R. Grusky sold 5,000 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.50, for a total transaction of $362,500.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP C Coleman Edmunds sold 15,378 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.46, for a total value of $991,265.88. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 23,163 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,493,086.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 149,637 shares of company stock valued at $9,447,755. 2.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in AutoNation by 30.5% during the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,672,809 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,358,000 after purchasing an additional 390,731 shares during the last quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of AutoNation in the third quarter worth about $17,399,000. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of AutoNation in the second quarter worth about $9,566,000. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership boosted its stake in shares of AutoNation by 33.2% in the third quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 956,851 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,646,000 after buying an additional 238,515 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of AutoNation by 160.6% in the third quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC now owns 218,839 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,583,000 after buying an additional 134,855 shares during the last quarter. 63.36% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of AutoNation stock traded up $1.35 on Monday, reaching $76.19. The company had a trading volume of 399,725 shares, compared to its average volume of 660,560. The firm has a market cap of $6.69 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.36, a P/E/G ratio of 1.07 and a beta of 1.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.32. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $66.51 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $56.74. AutoNation has a 1 year low of $20.59 and a 1 year high of $76.78.

AutoNation declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, October 21st that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to buy up to 10% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

About AutoNation

AutoNation, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Domestic, Import, and Premium Luxury. It offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles; and parts and services, such as automotive repair and maintenance, and wholesale parts and collision services.

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