AutoNation, Inc. (AN) is the largest automotive retailer in U.S. The company s optimal brand and market mix is pulling new vehicle sales higher as the market revives. In the second quarter of 2012, the company's profits surged 35% to $0.66 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.07. Revenues of $3.9 billion were also higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.7 billion.
The company's effort to expand its dealer network by investing in existing stores and service centers will help it outgrow peers. Further, recovery in auto sales and introduction of new products will boost the company's earnings.
As such, we have upgraded our recommendation to Outperform from Neutral and set a target price of $48.00. This is 19.4X our 2012 EPS estimate.
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