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Are Investors Undervaluing AutoNation (AN) 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 a variety of methods, including tried-and-true valuation metrics, to find these stocks.

In addition to the Zacks Rank, investors looking for stocks with specific traits can utilize our Style Scores system. Of course, value investors will be most interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with "A" grades for Value and high Zacks Ranks are among the best value stocks available at any given moment.

AutoNation (AN - Free Report) is a stock many investors are watching right now. AN is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock has a Forward P/E ratio of 5.86. This compares to its industry's average Forward P/E of 6.02. Over the past year, AN's Forward P/E has been as high as 29.04 and as low as 4.99, with a median of 7.42.

Investors should also note that AN holds a PEG ratio of 0.25. 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. AN's PEG compares to its industry's average PEG of 0.50. Over the past 52 weeks, AN's PEG has been as high as 1.23 and as low as 0.21, with a median of 0.39.

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 0.28. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.34.

Finally, our model also underscores that AN has a P/CF ratio of 4.56. This data point considers a firm's operating cash flow and is frequently used to find companies that are undervalued when considering their solid cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 6.02. Over the past year, AN's P/CF has been as high as 8.86 and as low as 3.61, with a median of 6.40.

Another great Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales stock you could consider is Group 1 Automotive (GPI - Free Report) , which is a # 2 (Buy) stock with a Value Score of A.

Group 1 Automotive is currently trading with a Forward P/E ratio of 4.98 while its PEG ratio sits at 0.46. Both of the company's metrics compare favorably to its industry's average P/E of 6.02 and average PEG ratio of 0.50.

Over the past year, GPI's P/E has been as high as 8.78, as low as 4.11, with a median of 6.01; its PEG ratio has been as high as 4.26, as low as 0.34, with a median of 0.39 during the same time period.

Group 1 Automotive sports a P/B ratio of 1.60 as well; this compares to its industry's price-to-book ratio of 2.11. In the past 52 weeks, GPI's P/B has been as high as 2.11, as low as 1.28, with a median of 1.78.

These are only a few of the key metrics included in AutoNation and Group 1 Automotive strong Value grade, but they help show that the stocks are likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, AN and GPI look like an impressive value stock at the moment.


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