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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 15, 2014
07:40 EDTANAutonation coverage assumed with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
News For AN From The Last 14 Days
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January 21, 2015
13:53 EDTANGoldman cuts rating on auto dealers citing below consensus U.S. sales view
Goldman Sachs lowered its outlook on auto dealers to Cautious from Neutral, citing several factors, including its belief that U.S. auto sales growth will be "essentially flat" this year. The firm also downgraded its rating on one of the companies in the sector, AutoNation (AN), to Neutral from Buy and removed the stock from its Americas Buy List. WHAT'S NEW: U.S. auto sales will probably rise less than 1% this year on a seasonally adjusted basis, Goldman analyst Patrick Archambault wrote in a note to investors today. Archambault indicated that his U.S. auto sales estimate is significantly below analysts' consensus outlook. Incentive deals and sales to subprime customers last year will probably negatively affect sales growth this year, the analyst stated. Additionally, the growth of dealers' revenue from parts and service is likely to slow this year after a series of major auto recalls were carried out last year, Archambault warned. Dealers may also be hurt by the regulation of auto lenders by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, since lenders and dealers split the profits from interest rate markups, the analyst stated. Finally, dealers are trading at a valuation that is 13% above their ten year average, according to Archambault. The analyst cut his rating on AutoNation to Neutral from Buy, based partly on valuation and his belief that the stock's near-term catalysts have diminished after it implemented a rebranding strategy and enhanced its digital systems. Over the medium term, the company's growth prospects will be limited by weak U.S. auto sales growth this year, added Archambault. However, the analyst continues to identify AutoNation as his favorite auto dealer stock. Other auto dealers covered by the analyst include Penske (PAG), which he rates Neutral, and Group 1 (GPI) and Sonic Automotive (SAH), both of which are rated Sell by the analyst. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Automakers whose shares could be negatively affected if the analyst's forecast for anemic U.S. sales growth proves to be accurate include Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Honda (HMC), Nissan (NSANY), Toyota (TM) and Volkswagen (VLKAY). PRICE ACTION: In mid-afternoon trading, AutoNation lost 1.2% to $57.12, Sonic Auto lost 1% to $25.18, Group 1 fell 2.5% to $77.40, and Penske climbed 1% to $47.09.
10:01 EDTANOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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05:42 EDTANAutoNation downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
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January 15, 2015
17:53 EDTANAutonation announces retirement of COO Mike Maroone, Bill Berman to take role
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