AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) – Investment analysts at Northcoast Research boosted their Q4 2017 earnings per share estimates for AutoNation in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. Northcoast Research analyst J. Healy now forecasts that the company will post earnings per share of $0.92 for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $0.88. Northcoast Research has a “Neutral” rating on the stock. Northcoast Research also issued estimates for AutoNation’s FY2018 earnings at $4.16 EPS.

AN has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reaffirmed a “negative” rating on shares of AutoNation in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on AutoNation from $57.00 to $53.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub raised AutoNation from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. ValuEngine lowered AutoNation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $45.00 price objective (down previously from $48.50) on shares of AutoNation in a report on Monday, July 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. AutoNation currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $45.55.

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Shares of AutoNation (NYSE:AN) opened at 47.42 on Friday. AutoNation has a 52 week low of $38.20 and a 52 week high of $53.74. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $45.40 and a 200-day moving average price of $42.22. The stock has a market cap of $4.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.81 and a beta of 1.21.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.98 by ($0.12). AutoNation had a return on equity of 16.71% and a net margin of 1.90%. The company had revenue of $5.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.56 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.08 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of AN. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 2,957.8% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,175,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,578,000 after purchasing an additional 4,038,834 shares during the last quarter. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership raised 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 purchasing an additional 2,245,935 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 175,288.8% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,090,635 shares of the company’s stock worth $88,142,000 after purchasing an additional 2,089,443 shares during the last quarter. Arlington Value Capital LLC raised its holdings in AutoNation by 284.0% in the 2nd quarter. Arlington Value Capital LLC now owns 2,096,311 shares of the company’s stock valued at $88,380,000 after acquiring an additional 1,550,426 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Orbis Allan Gray Ltd raised its holdings in AutoNation by 141.7% in the 2nd quarter. Orbis Allan Gray Ltd now owns 2,444,847 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,075,000 after acquiring an additional 1,433,472 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.42% of the company’s stock.

In related news, Director Robert R. Grusky sold 2,800 shares of AutoNation stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.99, for a total transaction of $109,172.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 30,713 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,197,499.87. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

AutoNation declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, August 29th that allows the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

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