Brokerages forecast that AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) will post $0.93 earnings per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Sixteen analysts have made estimates for AutoNation’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.84 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.03. AutoNation reported earnings of $0.95 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year over year growth rate of 2.1%. The company is expected to issue its next earnings results on Friday, February 2nd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that AutoNation will report full-year earnings of $3.75 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.56 to $3.85. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the firm will post earnings of $4.04 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.64 to $4.65. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that that provide coverage for AutoNation.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.00 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.16. AutoNation had a return on equity of 16.66% and a net margin of 1.80%. The business had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.58 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.05 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 2.4% on a year-over-year basis.

AN has been the subject of several analyst reports. Susquehanna Bancshares cut AutoNation to a “neutral” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $36.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Moffett Nathanson initiated coverage on AutoNation in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. UBS cut AutoNation from a “positive” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 28th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of AutoNation in a research note on Sunday, September 10th. Finally, ValuEngine raised AutoNation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 2nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.88.

In other news, major shareholder Edward S. Lampert sold 3,480 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.61, for a total transaction of $193,522.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Donna L. Parlapiano sold 3,367 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.81, for a total value of $174,444.27. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 11,469 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $594,208.89. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 12,733 shares of company stock valued at $676,747. Insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of AutoNation by 2.2% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,785,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $286,078,000 after acquiring an additional 147,424 shares in the last quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership boosted its position in shares of AutoNation by 76.5% during the 2nd quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership now owns 5,181,954 shares of the company’s stock worth $218,471,000 after acquiring an additional 2,245,935 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of AutoNation by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,192,696 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,762,000 after acquiring an additional 17,314 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of AutoNation by 56.3% in the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,266,677 shares of the company’s stock valued at $155,036,000 after purchasing an additional 1,176,042 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of AutoNation by 10.2% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,683,569 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,360,000 after purchasing an additional 248,512 shares during the last quarter. 77.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

AutoNation (NYSE AN) traded up $0.15 on Friday, reaching $52.57. The company had a trading volume of 1,684,047 shares, compared to its average volume of 764,447. AutoNation has a 1 year low of $38.20 and a 1 year high of $57.83. The firm has a market cap of $4,796.70, a PE ratio of 13.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 1.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.17.

AutoNation declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, August 29th that allows the company to buyback $250.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 6% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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About AutoNation

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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Earnings History and Estimates for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

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