JPMorgan Chase & Co. Initiates Coverage on AutoNation (AN)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on shares of AutoNation (NYSE:AN) in a research report report published on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. The firm issued an underweight rating and a $40.00 target price on the stock.

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on AN. ValuEngine upgraded AutoNation from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. Bank of America upgraded AutoNation from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $59.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Buckingham Research reduced their price target on AutoNation from $42.00 to $38.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 31st. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on AutoNation from $44.00 to $34.00 and set a sell rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on AutoNation in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. They set a neutral rating and a $38.06 price target on the stock. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $42.01.

AutoNation stock opened at $37.23 on Tuesday. AutoNation has a 12-month low of $32.87 and a 12-month high of $52.68. The company has a current ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 0.20 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.54 and a beta of 1.11.



AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, February 22nd. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.15 by ($0.05). The firm had revenue of $5.41 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.63 billion. AutoNation had a return on equity of 16.21% and a net margin of 2.10%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.02 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that AutoNation will post 4.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director David B. Edelson sold 20,000 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.99, for a total value of $679,800.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 48,946 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,663,674.54. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Robert R. Grusky sold 2,500 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.36, for a total value of $88,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 39,611 shares in the company, valued at $1,400,644.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 23,039 shares of company stock worth $786,143. 2.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of AN. Magnolia Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of AutoNation in the fourth quarter worth approximately $45,170,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of AutoNation by 27.9% in the third quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,493,101 shares of the company’s stock worth $186,689,000 after acquiring an additional 981,065 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in AutoNation by 9.5% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,681,175 shares of the company’s stock valued at $236,050,000 after buying an additional 492,876 shares during the period. Squarepoint Ops LLC acquired a new position in AutoNation in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $10,995,000. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in AutoNation by 9.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,051,749 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,946,000 after buying an additional 256,337 shares during the period. 63.98% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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Analyst Recommendations for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

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