AutoNation (AN) remains focused on improving its product mix and cost-cutting initiatives. The company’s profit increased 36% in the second quarter of 2010 and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.02 per share.
Cost reduction revolved around lower interest expense, disciplined operations and inventory management. The company’s strong new vehicle unit sales are expected to be boosted further by its recent acquisitions of three dealerships.
These factors have led us to upgrade our recommendation on the stock from Neutral to Outperform and set a target price of $28.