AutoNation Inc. (NYSE:AN)’s share price dropped 4.2% during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as low as $51.10 and last traded at $51.13, with a volume of 1,808,169 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $53.35.

AN has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised AutoNation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, April 5th. TheStreet raised AutoNation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, July 18th. Jefferies Group upped their target price on AutoNation from $50.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of AutoNation in a report on Monday, April 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $60.88.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $49.45 and its 200 day moving average is $48.44. The firm has a market cap of $5.02 billion and a P/E ratio of 12.66.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, July 29th. The company reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $5.44 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.51 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.00 EPS. AutoNation’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that AutoNation Inc. will post $4.25 earnings per share for the current year.

In other AutoNation news, EVP Jonathan P. Ferrando sold 20,000 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.51, for a total transaction of $1,010,200.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO William R. Berman sold 1,473 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.77, for a total value of $74,784.21. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly 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 large investors have recently modified their holdings of AN. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of AutoNation by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,488,986 shares of the company’s stock valued at $387,133,000 after buying an additional 36,953 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of AutoNation by 15.9% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 135,754 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,099,000 after buying an additional 18,651 shares during the period. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of AutoNation by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. now owns 116,965 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,051,000 after buying an additional 320 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its stake in shares of AutoNation by 32.9% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 98,420 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,872,000 after buying an additional 24,387 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of AutoNation by 13.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 25,933 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,547,000 after buying an additional 3,013 shares during the period.

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.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.