Investors Purchase Large Volume of Put Options on AutoNation (AN)

AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Monday. Investors purchased 786 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 550% compared to the typical volume of 121 put options.

AN has been the subject of several research reports. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price objective on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Sunday, September 10th. UBS Group cut AutoNation from a “positive” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Susquehanna Bancshares reissued a “negative” rating on shares of AutoNation in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Northcoast Research cut AutoNation from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Berenberg Bank initiated coverage on AutoNation in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $55.00 target price for the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.88.

In other news, major shareholder Edward S. Lampert sold 3,480 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.61, for a total value of $193,522.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Robert R. Grusky sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.99, for a total value of $519,900.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 32,677 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,698,877.23. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 22,733 shares of company stock valued at $1,196,647 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in AutoNation by 1,332.8% during the third quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 19,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $884,000 after acquiring an additional 18,139 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in AutoNation by 6.6% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 176,140 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,360,000 after acquiring an additional 10,940 shares in the last quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC acquired a new position in AutoNation during the third quarter worth $1,737,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC acquired a new position in AutoNation during the third quarter worth $751,000. Finally, Point72 Asset Management L.P. increased its stake in shares of AutoNation by 315.4% in the third quarter. Point72 Asset Management L.P. now owns 107,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,111,000 after buying an additional 157,700 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.74% of the company’s stock.

AutoNation (NYSE AN) opened at $55.58 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.17. AutoNation has a 12-month low of $38.20 and a 12-month high of $57.83. The company has a market capitalization of $5,070.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.00, a P/E/G ratio of 2.06 and a beta of 1.28.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.16. AutoNation had a return on equity of 16.40% and a net margin of 1.87%. The firm 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 company posted $1.05 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that AutoNation will post 3.76 EPS for the current year.

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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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