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Is AutoNation (AN) Stock Undervalued Right Now?

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Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.

Looking at the history of these trends, perhaps none is more beloved than value investing. This strategy simply looks to identify companies that are being undervalued by the broader market. Value investors use tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.

On top of the Zacks Rank, investors can also look at our innovative Style Scores system to find stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will want to focus on the "Value" category. Stocks with high Zacks Ranks and "A" grades for Value will be some of the highest-quality value stocks on the market today.

AutoNation (AN - Free Report) is a stock many investors are watching right now. AN is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), as well as a Value grade of A. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 9.97, while its industry has an average P/E of 11.35. Over the past year, AN's Forward P/E has been as high as 14.25 and as low as 4.56, with a median of 10.55.

Investors should also note that AN holds a PEG ratio of 1.24. This popular figure is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also considers a company's expected EPS growth rate. AN's PEG compares to its industry's average PEG of 1.92. AN's PEG has been as high as 4.97 and as low as 1.23, with a median of 3.16, all within the past year.

Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. AN has a P/S ratio of 0.25. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.3.

Finally, we should also recognize that AN has a P/CF ratio of 6.28. This metric focuses on a firm's operating cash flow and is often used to find stocks that are undervalued based on the strength of their cash outlook. AN's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 11.41. AN's P/CF has been as high as 8.42 and as low as 3.22, with a median of 6.27, all within the past year.

These figures are just a handful of the metrics value investors tend to look at, but they help show that AutoNation is likely being undervalued right now. Considering this, as well as the strength of its earnings outlook, AN feels like a great value stock at the moment.


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