AutoNation Inc. (NYSE:AN) shares rose 3.3% on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $49.59 and last traded at $48.39, with a volume of 884,959 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $46.86.

A number of analysts have issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AutoNation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, April 5th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of AutoNation in a research note on Monday, April 25th. Finally, Jefferies Group assumed coverage on shares of AutoNation in a research note on Monday, April 11th. They set a “hold” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. AutoNation has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.78.

The firm has a market capitalization of $5.03 billion and a PE ratio of 12.77. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $48.17 and its 200 day moving average price is $48.87.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last announced its earnings results on Friday, April 22nd. The company reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.29 billion. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.97 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that AutoNation Inc. will post $4.24 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Jonathan P. Ferrando sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.32, for a total transaction of $1,006,400.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, COO William R. Berman sold 1,473 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.77, for a total value of $74,784.21. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 1,814 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $92,096.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System raised its position in AutoNation by 3.1% in the fourth quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 69,379 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,139,000 after buying an additional 2,110 shares in the last quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. raised its position in AutoNation by 60.9% in the fourth quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 53,643 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,200,000 after buying an additional 20,300 shares in the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new position in AutoNation during the fourth quarter worth about $3,379,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in AutoNation by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 17,145 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,023,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers raised its position in AutoNation by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 124,022 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,399,000 after buying an additional 2,202 shares in the last quarter.

AutoNation, Inc 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.

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