AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) had its price objective cut by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from $57.00 to $53.00 in a report released on Friday. The firm currently has an “overweight” rating on the stock. Morgan Stanley’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 30.38% from the company’s current price.

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Northcoast Research upgraded shares of AutoNation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday. TheStreet lowered shares of AutoNation from a “b-” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 1st. ValuEngine lowered shares of AutoNation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 target price (down previously from $52.00) on shares of AutoNation in a report on Saturday, April 29th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.43.

Analyst Recommendations for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

Shares of AutoNation (AN) traded up 3.44% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $42.05. The company had a trading volume of 1,560,530 shares. AutoNation has a one year low of $38.20 and a one year high of $54.15. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $40.51 and a 200-day moving average of $45.19. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.95 and a beta of 1.21.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, April 25th. The company reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $5.14 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.33 billion. AutoNation had a net margin of 2.00% and a return on equity of 18.40%. AutoNation’s revenue for the quarter was up .4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.93 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that AutoNation will post $3.92 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, EVP Jonathan P. Ferrando sold 110,430 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.86, for a total transaction of $4,953,889.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Jonathan P. Ferrando sold 17,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.31, for a total transaction of $770,270.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 127,703 shares of company stock worth $5,735,009 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Achmea Investment Management B.V. bought a new position in shares of AutoNation during the first quarter valued at $209,000. Bank of Nova Scotia bought a new position in shares of AutoNation during the first quarter valued at $571,000. Credit Suisse AG raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 11.4% in the first quarter. Credit Suisse AG now owns 132,751 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,614,000 after buying an additional 13,560 shares in the last quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 88.7% in the first quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 12,288 shares of the company’s stock valued at $520,000 after buying an additional 5,776 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gotham Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 69.1% in the first quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 390,895 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,531,000 after buying an additional 159,719 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 66.12% of the company’s stock.

AutoNation Company Profile

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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