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

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

AutoNation ( AN) pushed the Specialty Retail industry lower today making it today's featured Specialty Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.7%. By the end of trading, AutoNation fell 70 cents (-1.5%) to $45.33 on average volume. Throughout the day, 833,489 shares of AutoNation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 888,900 shares. The stock ranged in price between $45.06-$46.18 after having opened the day at $46.07 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.03. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that declined today were: Group one Automotive ( GPI), down 7.5%, Titan Machinery ( TITN), down 4%, Mecox Lane ( MCOX), down 3.4%, and Sport Chalet ( SPCHA), down 3.2%.
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AutoNation, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. AutoNation has a market cap of $5.6 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.3, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 15.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are three analysts that rate AutoNation a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AutoNation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, OfficeMax ( OMX), up 20.9%, Staples ( SPLS), up 13.1%, Birks & Mayors ( BMJ), up 12.1%, and America's Car-Mart ( CRMT), up 10.5%, were all gainers within the specialty retail industry with CarMax ( KMX) being today's featured specialty retail industry leader.

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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