$5.56 Billion in Sales Expected for AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) This Quarter

Equities research analysts expect AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) to post $5.56 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Four analysts have made estimates for AutoNation’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $5.75 billion and the lowest is $5.41 billion. AutoNation posted sales of $5.55 billion during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 0.2%. The company is expected to issue its next earnings results on Tuesday, February 9th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that AutoNation will report full-year sales of $20.21 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $20.02 billion to $20.36 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts anticipate that the business will report sales of $21.14 billion, with estimates ranging from $19.81 billion to $21.83 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow AutoNation.

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

Several research firms recently issued reports on AN. Guggenheim raised shares of AutoNation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $69.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 12th. ValuEngine raised shares of AutoNation from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 22nd. Bank of America raised their target price on shares of AutoNation from $77.00 to $79.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 17th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of AutoNation from $38.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 27th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities began coverage on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Monday, October 19th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.57.

AutoNation stock opened at $60.45 on Thursday. AutoNation has a 12-month low of $20.59 and a 12-month high of $69.28. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.77, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 1.63. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $60.10 and its two-hundred day moving average is $50.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.32.

AutoNation declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, October 21st that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 10% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Robert R. Grusky sold 5,000 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.50, for a total transaction of $312,500.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 49,721 shares in the company, valued at $3,107,562.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Marc G. Cannon sold 3,744 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.00, for a total transaction of $232,128.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 14,716 shares in the company, valued at approximately $912,392. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 113,003 shares of company stock worth $6,977,117. 2.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AN. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of AutoNation during the second quarter valued at approximately $612,504,000. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in AutoNation by 30.5% during the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,672,809 shares of the company’s stock worth $88,358,000 after buying an additional 390,731 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. acquired a new stake in AutoNation during the 3rd quarter worth about $17,399,000. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership raised its holdings in AutoNation by 33.2% during the 3rd 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 period. Finally, Assenagon Asset Management S.A. acquired a new stake in AutoNation during the 2nd quarter worth about $6,914,000. Institutional investors own 59.30% of the company’s stock.

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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