AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) Short Interest Down 9.6% in July

AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) was the recipient of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 6,774,600 shares, a decrease of 9.6% from the June 30th total of 7,494,700 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 782,700 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 8.7 days. Currently, 8.7% of the company’s stock are sold short.

AN stock opened at $48.91 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.83 and a quick ratio of 0.20. AutoNation has a 52-week low of $32.83 and a 52-week high of $49.61. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $44.54. The company has a market capitalization of $4.25 billion, a PE ratio of 10.89, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.84 and a beta of 1.06.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, July 22nd. The company reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.12. AutoNation had a net margin of 1.89% and a return on equity of 15.10%. The company had revenue of $5.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.29 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.14 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down .8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that AutoNation will post 4.44 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on the stock. Longbow Research restated a “hold” rating on shares of AutoNation in a report on Sunday, July 7th. ValuEngine cut shares of AutoNation from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 1st. SunTrust Banks upped their price target on shares of AutoNation to $43.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 30th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of AutoNation from $35.00 to $39.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, August 2nd. Finally, TheStreet upgraded shares of AutoNation from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 23rd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $41.38.

In other AutoNation news, Chairman Michael J. Jackson sold 37,104 shares of the 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 transaction, 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 document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Michael J. Jackson sold 64,462 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.51, for a total transaction of $3,127,051.62. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 199,917 shares in the company, valued at $9,697,973.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 1,670,911 shares of company stock worth $79,390,628 over the last three months. Company insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec lifted its stake in shares of AutoNation by 13.7% in the second quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 3,628,390 shares of the company’s stock valued at $152,175,000 after buying an additional 437,890 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of AutoNation by 9.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,051,749 shares of the company’s stock valued at $108,946,000 after buying an additional 256,337 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its stake in shares of AutoNation by 12.5% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,808,628 shares of the company’s stock valued at $75,854,000 after buying an additional 200,732 shares during the period. Magnolia Group LLC lifted its stake in shares of AutoNation by 0.8% in the first quarter. Magnolia Group LLC now owns 1,274,772 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,535,000 after buying an additional 9,500 shares during the period. Finally, Private Management Group Inc. lifted its stake 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 buying an additional 8,748 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 63.95% of the company’s stock.

AutoNation Company Profile

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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