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 trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $46.86.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded AutoNation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 29th. Jefferies Group assumed coverage on AutoNation in a research report on Monday, April 11th. They issued a “hold” rating and a $50.00 price target for the company. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Monday, April 25th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.78.

The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $48.36 and a 200-day moving average price of $48.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.23 billion and a P/E ratio of 13.28.

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

In other AutoNation news, EVP Jonathan P. Ferrando sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.51, for a total value of $1,010,200.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO William R. Berman sold 1,473 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.77, for a total value of $74,784.21. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 1,814 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $92,096.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System boosted 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 during the last quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. boosted 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 during the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP acquired a new position in AutoNation during the fourth quarter worth about $3,379,000. Rhumbline Advisers boosted 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted 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 during 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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