Short Interest in AutoNation, Inc. (AN) Drops By 22.5%
AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) saw a large decline in short interest in the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 12,980,581 shares, a decline of 22.5% from the September 15th total of 16,738,410 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,148,260 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 11.3 days. Currently, 14.7% of the company’s shares are sold short.
AutoNation (AN) opened at 44.15 on Tuesday. AutoNation has a 1-year low of $38.20 and a 1-year high of $53.74. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $46.13 and a 200 day moving average price of $42.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.98 and a beta of 1.21.
AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.98 by ($0.12). The company had revenue of $5.28 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.56 billion. AutoNation had a net margin of 1.90% and a return on equity of 16.71%. The business’s revenue was down 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. Analysts predict that AutoNation will post $3.57 EPS for the current year.
AutoNation declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, August 29th that authorizes the company to buyback $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In other AutoNation news, Director Robert R. Grusky sold 2,800 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.99, for a total value of $109,172.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 30,713 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,197,499.87. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 3.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its holdings in shares of AutoNation by 8.4% during the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 4,826 shares of the company’s stock valued at $215,000 after acquiring an additional 372 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS increased its holdings in shares of AutoNation by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 4,890 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,000 after acquiring an additional 24 shares during the last quarter. Achmea Investment Management B.V. acquired a new position in shares of AutoNation during the 1st quarter valued at about $209,000. Invictus RG increased its holdings in shares of AutoNation by 58.2% during the 1st quarter. Invictus RG now owns 4,981 shares of the company’s stock valued at $211,000 after acquiring an additional 1,833 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nomura Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in shares of AutoNation during the 2nd quarter valued at about $219,000. 73.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several analysts have commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded AutoNation from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. Buckingham Research reduced their price objective on AutoNation from $44.00 to $35.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $43.00 price objective (down from $46.00) on shares of AutoNation in a research note on Wednesday, August 9th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reaffirmed a “negative” rating on shares of AutoNation in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, Northcoast Research lowered AutoNation from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.20.
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AutoNation, Inc (AutoNation) 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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