Artisan Partners Limited Partnership lessened its stake in AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) by 3.4% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 5,005,656 shares of the company’s stock after selling 176,298 shares during the period. Artisan Partners Limited Partnership owned 5.49% of AutoNation worth $237,568,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in AN. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in AutoNation by 10.2% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,683,569 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,360,000 after acquiring an additional 248,512 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its holdings in AutoNation by 11.8% in the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 38,034 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,800,000 after acquiring an additional 4,000 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS lifted its holdings in AutoNation by 94.8% in the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 9,524 shares of the company’s stock valued at $452,000 after acquiring an additional 4,634 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its holdings in AutoNation by 32.3% in the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 59,971 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,834,000 after acquiring an additional 14,656 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in AutoNation by 8.9% in the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 419,546 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,912,000 after acquiring an additional 34,117 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.81% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of AutoNation from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 1st. Deutsche Bank reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $43.00 price target (down from $46.00) on shares of AutoNation in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on shares of AutoNation in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $55.00 price target for the company. Northcoast Research downgraded shares of AutoNation from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of AutoNation from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Saturday, August 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. AutoNation presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.88.

In other news, COO Lance E. Iserman sold 5,886 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.46, for a total value of $308,779.56. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 4,860 shares in the company, valued at approximately $254,955.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Edward S. Lampert sold 3,480 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.61, for a total value of $193,522.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 12,733 shares of company stock valued at $676,747 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

Shares of AutoNation, Inc. (AN) opened at $55.04 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.17 and a current ratio of 0.73. AutoNation, Inc. has a 52 week low of $38.20 and a 52 week high of $56.71. The company has a market cap of $5,052.17, a PE ratio of 14.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.30 and a beta of 1.27.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by $0.16. AutoNation had a net margin of 1.87% and a return on equity of 16.40%. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.58 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.05 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that AutoNation, Inc. will post 3.74 EPS for the current fiscal year.

AutoNation declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, August 29th that allows the company to repurchase $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

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About AutoNation

AutoNation, Inc (AutoNation) is an automotive retailer in the United States. The Company offers a range of automotive products and services, including new vehicles, used vehicles, parts and service, which includes automotive repair and maintenance services, as well as wholesale parts and collision businesses, and automotive finance and insurance products, including vehicle service and other protection products, as well as the arranging of financing for vehicle purchases through third-party finance sources.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for AutoNation (NYSE:AN)

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