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AutoNation (AN) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

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AutoNation (AN - Free Report) closed at $51.90 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.03% move from the prior day. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.6%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 1.34%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 2.26%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the auto retailer had lost 10.02% over the past month. This has lagged the Retail-Wholesale sector's loss of 4.91% and the S&P 500's loss of 5.3% in that time.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from AN as it approaches its next earnings report date. In that report, analysts expect AN to post earnings of $1.47 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 24.58%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $5.19 billion, down 4.9% from the year-ago period.

AN's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $5.46 per share and revenue of $19.94 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +20% and -6.53%, respectively.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for AN. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an 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. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.39% higher. AN is holding a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) right now.

Investors should also note AN's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 9.41. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 11.02, so we one might conclude that AN is trading at a discount comparatively.

Investors should also note that AN has a PEG ratio of 1.17 right now. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.26 at yesterday's closing price.

The Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales industry is part of the Retail-Wholesale sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 2, putting it in the top 1% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on

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