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AutoNation (AN) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

·3 min read

AutoNation (AN) closed at $127.36 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.8% move from the prior day. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.67%. Elsewhere, the Dow lost 0.57%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.14%.

Coming into today, shares of the auto retailer had gained 6.41% in the past month. In that same time, the Retail-Wholesale sector gained 6.79%, while the S&P 500 gained 3.65%.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from AutoNation as it approaches its next earnings report date. In that report, analysts expect AutoNation to post earnings of $6.41 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 25.2%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $6.78 billion, up 6.27% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $24.74 per share and revenue of $27.2 billion. These totals would mark changes of +36.38% and +5.25%, respectively, from last year.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for AutoNation. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 2.04% higher within the past month. AutoNation is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that AutoNation has a Forward P/E ratio of 5.11 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 5.82, so we one might conclude that AutoNation is trading at a discount comparatively.

Meanwhile, AN's PEG ratio is currently 0.63. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 0.61 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 59, which puts it in the top 24% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Make sure to utilize Zacks.com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.

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