AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) Expected to Post Earnings of $1.98 Per Share

Brokerages expect AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) to announce earnings of $1.98 per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Four analysts have made estimates for AutoNation’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $2.32 and the lowest is $1.74. AutoNation reported earnings of $1.31 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 51.1%. The firm is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, February 9th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that AutoNation will report full-year earnings of $6.52 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.65 to $7.03. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the company will report earnings of $6.56 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.63 to $7.15. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that follow AutoNation.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 21st. The company reported $2.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the 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 firm had revenue of $5.41 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.19 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.11 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis.

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

Shares of AN opened at $60.45 on Tuesday. AutoNation has a fifty-two week low of $20.59 and a fifty-two week high of $69.28. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $60.10 and its 200 day moving average price is $50.15. The company has a market cap of $5.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.77, a PEG ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 1.63. The company has a quick ratio of 0.32, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53.

AutoNation announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, October 21st that allows the company to buyback $500.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 10% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CAO Christopher Cade sold 11,036 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.27, for a total transaction of $687,211.72. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 6,208 shares in the company, valued at approximately $386,572.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Marc G. Cannon sold 3,744 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, October 9th. The stock was 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $912,392. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 113,003 shares of company stock valued at $6,977,117. 2.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Copper Rock Capital Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of AutoNation in the 2nd quarter worth $612,504,000. FMR LLC lifted its position in AutoNation by 5.9% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,771,132 shares of the company’s stock valued at $66,560,000 after buying an additional 98,414 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its position in AutoNation by 30.5% during the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,672,809 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,358,000 after buying an additional 390,731 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its position in AutoNation by 1.3% during the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,548,928 shares of the company’s stock valued at $81,985,000 after buying an additional 19,773 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ninety One UK Ltd lifted its position in AutoNation by 1.5% during the second quarter. Ninety One UK Ltd now owns 1,238,097 shares of the company’s stock valued at $46,528,000 after buying an additional 18,016 shares in the last quarter. 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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Earnings History and Estimates for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

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