AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) was the target of a significant decline in short interest in June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 6,709,100 shares, a decline of 19.4% from the May 30th total of 8,324,700 shares. Approximately 8.6% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 788,400 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 8.5 days.

In other AutoNation news, Chairman Michael J. Jackson sold 37,104 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.93, for a total transaction of $1,555,770.72. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 204,790 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,586,844.70. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP James R. Bender sold 1,034 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.19, for a total transaction of $42,590.46. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 3,692 shares in the company, valued at $152,073.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 45,693 shares of company stock worth $1,906,693. 2.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Hi Line Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 2.1% in the first quarter. Hi Line Capital Management LLC now owns 109,676 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,918,000 after purchasing an additional 2,221 shares during the period. Private Management Group Inc. raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 1.0% in the first quarter. Private Management Group Inc. now owns 890,152 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,796,000 after purchasing an additional 8,748 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 688,848 shares of the company’s stock valued at $24,591,000 after purchasing an additional 50,750 shares during the period. Townsend & Associates Inc raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 7.7% in the first quarter. Townsend & Associates Inc now owns 20,122 shares of the company’s stock valued at $719,000 after purchasing an additional 1,435 shares during the period. Finally, CenturyLink Investment Management Co raised its position in shares of AutoNation by 1.8% in the first quarter. CenturyLink Investment Management Co now owns 31,357 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,120,000 after purchasing an additional 564 shares during the period. 65.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Several analysts have issued reports on the stock. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Sonic Automotive from $10.00 to $18.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 6th. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on shares of FTI Consulting to $88.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 30th. ValuEngine lowered shares of W&T Offshore from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Longbow Research reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Cooper Tire & Rubber in a research report on Sunday, July 7th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $41.01.

NYSE AN opened at $41.94 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.34, a P/E/G ratio of 3.78 and a beta of 1.08. The stock’s fifty day moving average price is $41.22. AutoNation has a 1 year low of $32.83 and a 1 year high of $50.02. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.18.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 26th. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $4.98 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.21 billion. AutoNation had a net margin of 1.87% and a return on equity of 15.48%. The company’s revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.01 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that AutoNation will post 4.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

About AutoNation

AutoNation, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. The company operates through three segments: Domestic, Import, and Premium Luxury. It offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles; and parts and services, such as automotive repair and maintenance, and wholesale parts and collision services.

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