Berenberg Bank began coverage on shares of AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) in a research note published on Wednesday, October 4th, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The brokerage issued a buy rating and a $55.00 target price on the stock.

AN has been the subject of a number of other reports. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc restated a negative rating on shares of AutoNation in a report on Thursday, September 28th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of AutoNation from $57.00 to $53.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 9th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of AutoNation from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, August 14th. ValuEngine lowered shares of AutoNation from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a market perform rating and set a $45.00 target price (down from $48.50) on shares of AutoNation in a research note on Monday, July 17th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $45.20.

Shares of AutoNation (AN) traded down 1.76% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $44.00. The stock had a trading volume of 1,104,349 shares. AutoNation has a 52-week low of $38.20 and a 52-week high of $53.74. The firm has a market cap of $4.42 billion, a PE ratio of 10.96 and a beta of 1.21. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $46.03 and its 200-day moving average price is $42.36.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.86 earnings per share 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 firm 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 firm earned $1.08 earnings per share. AutoNation’s revenue was down 3.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts anticipate that AutoNation will post $3.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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AutoNation announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, August 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Nordea Investment Management AB boosted its holdings in AutoNation by 43.8% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 3,285 shares of the company’s stock worth $139,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS bought a new position in AutoNation in the 1st quarter worth $206,000. Achmea Investment Management B.V. bought a new position in AutoNation in the 1st quarter worth $209,000. Invictus RG boosted its holdings in AutoNation by 58.2% in the 1st quarter. Invictus RG now owns 4,981 shares of the company’s stock worth $211,000 after buying an additional 1,833 shares during the period. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale boosted 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 purchasing an additional 372 shares during the last quarter. 73.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

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