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

AutoNation ( AN) pushed the Specialty Retail industry higher today making it today's featured specialty retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 1.1%. By the end of trading, AutoNation rose $1.55 (3.6%) to $44.94 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,176,130 shares of AutoNation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 712,600 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $43.64-$45.57 after having opened the day at $43.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $43.39. Other companies within the Specialty Retail industry that increased today were: Barnes & Noble ( BKS), up 9.0%, Hollywood Media Corporation ( HOLL), up 6.8%, CSS Industries ( CSS), up 6.8% and Netflix ( NFLX), up 6.2%.

AutoNation, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates as an automotive retailer in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Domestic, Import, and Premium Luxury. AutoNation has a market cap of $5.3 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 9.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates AutoNation a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 9 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, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

On the negative front, Birks & Mayors ( BMJ), down 6.1%, West Marine ( WMAR), down 3.8%, Cencosud ( CNCO), down 3.4% and Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation ( BGFV), down 2.6%.

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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