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Is AutoNation (AN) Outperforming Other Retail-Wholesale Stocks This Year?

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For those looking to find strong Retail-Wholesale stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Has AutoNation (AN - Free Report) been one of those stocks this year? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Retail-Wholesale sector should help us answer this question.

AutoNation is one of 220 individual stocks in the Retail-Wholesale sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #5 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. AutoNation is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AN's full-year earnings has moved 17.9% higher. This signals that analyst sentiment is improving and the stock's earnings outlook is more positive.

Based on the most recent data, AN has returned 82.3% so far this year. In comparison, Retail-Wholesale companies have returned an average of -5.6%. As we can see, AutoNation is performing better than its sector in the calendar year.

Casey's General Stores (CASY - Free Report) is another Retail-Wholesale stock that has outperformed the sector so far this year. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has returned 9.1%.

In Casey's General Stores' case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 13.4% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Looking more specifically, AutoNation belongs to the Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales industry, which includes 9 individual stocks and currently sits at #43 in the Zacks Industry Rank. Stocks in this group have gained about 37.4% so far this year, so AN is performing better this group in terms of year-to-date returns.

In contrast, Casey's General Stores falls under the Retail - Convenience Stores industry. Currently, this industry has 2 stocks and is ranked #4. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +13.2%.

Investors with an interest in Retail-Wholesale stocks should continue to track AutoNation and Casey's General Stores. These stocks will be looking to continue their solid performance.


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