AutoNation, Inc. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 20, 2011. AutoNation offers a range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicles, parts and automotive repair, and maintenance services, as well as automotive finance and insurance products.

AutoNation, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 48 cents per share, a rise of 23.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 46 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has dropped from 49 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 21.8% versus last year to $1.90.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company reported net income of 49 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of. The company has beaten estimates for the past three quarters.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 4.9% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $3.43 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about AutoNation with seven of 11 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 52.3% to $71.9 million (48 cents a share) from $47.2 million (29 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 7.3% to $3.34 billion from $3.11 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 25.7% in the first quarter and 9.1% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company’s revenue has risen for two straight quarters. In the first quarter, the figure rose 16.3%.

Competitors to Watch: Group one Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:GPI), Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:PAG), Sonic Automotive, Inc. (NYSE:SAH), Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:ABG), Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT), CarMax, Inc (NYSE:KMX), Lentuo Intl. Inc (ADR) (NYSE:LAS), Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD), AutoChina Intl. Ltd. (NASDAQ:AUTC), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Toyota (NYSE:T), Ford (NYSE:F), CarMax (NYSE:KMX), AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) and America’s Car-Mart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRMT).

Stock Price Performance: During August 18, 2011 to October 14, 2011, the stock price had risen $3.40 (9.9%) from $34.34 to $37.74. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 24, 2011 and July 7, 2011 when shares rose for nine-straight days, rising 14.1% (+$4.85) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 26, 2011 and October 3, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 9% (-$3.13) over that span. Shares are up $9.54 (+33.8%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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