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Are Investors Undervaluing AutoNation (AN) Right Now?

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Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks.

Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.

Zacks has developed the innovative Style Scores system to highlight stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will be interested in stocks with great grades in the "Value" category. When paired with a high Zacks Rank, "A" grades in the Value category are among the strongest value stocks on the market today.

One company to watch right now is AutoNation (AN - Free Report) . AN is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), as well as an A grade for Value.

Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. AN has a P/S ratio of 0.23. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.28.

Finally, we should also recognize that AN has a P/CF ratio of 6.94. This figure highlights a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find firms that are undervalued when considering their impressive cash outlook. AN's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 11.41. Within the past 12 months, AN's P/CF has been as high as 8.42 and as low as 3.22, with a median of 6.63.

Value investors will likely look at more than just these metrics, but the above data helps show that AutoNation is likely undervalued currently. And when considering the strength of its earnings outlook, AN sticks out at as one of the market's strongest value stocks.


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