AutoNation Inc (AN): Today's Featured Specialty Retail Loser

AutoNation ( AN) pushed the Specialty Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Specialty Retail loser. The industry as a whole was unchanged today. By the end of trading, AutoNation fell 24 cents (-0.7%) to $34.94 on average volume. Throughout the day, 943,274 shares of AutoNation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of one million shares. The stock ranged in price between $34.64-$35.14 after having opened the day at $34.93 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $35.18. Other company's within the Specialty Retail industry that declined today were: Zale Corporation ( ZLC), down 7.6%, Office Depot ( ODP), down 6.3%, Barnes & Noble ( BKS), down 4.7%, and OfficeMax ( OMX), down 4.2%.

AutoNation, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. AutoNation has a market cap of $4.22 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17, equal to the average specialty retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are no analysts that rate AutoNation a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AutoNation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

On the positive front, Francescas Holdings ( FRAN), up 3.8%, iParty Corporation ( IPT), up 3.6%, Vitamin Shoppe ( VSI), up 2.9%, and Luxottica Group ( LUX), up 2.8%, were all gainers within the specialty retail industry with Tractor Supply ( TSCO) being today's featured specialty retail industry winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the specialty retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the specialty retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).
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