Watching the Consensus EPS Estimate on These Shares: AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN)

Tracking the present quarter EPS consensus estimate for AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN), we have noted the current number is 1.25. This EPS estimate is using 11 Wall Street analysts polled by Zacks Research. Last quarter, the company stated a quarterly EPS of 1.14. Sell-side analysts have the job of examining companies and providing estimates relating to future results. These estimates carry a lot of weight on the Street, and earnings hits or misses revolve around these numbers. Sometimes these predictions are very close to the actual reported number, and other times they are not. When a company reports actual earnings results, the surprise factor can cause a stock price to jump or dive. If a company beats estimates and posts a positive earnings surprise, the stock may see a near-term jump in price. On the flip side, a negative surprise may send the stock downward. Many investors will opt to be cautious around earnings releases and wait to make a move until after the stock price has stabilized.  

Traders may already have a favorite method for applying technical analysis. Active traders are typically concerned with shorter-term price movements when trading shares. Entry and exit points tend to be way more important for traders who are looking to capitalize on stock market trends. Some traders may opt to only use technical analysis when picking stocks, while others will also incorporate company fundamentals when doing research. Of course, there is no one foolproof method for trading the markets. Many technical investors will still opt to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals before diving deeper into the technical signals. Longer-term investors might not be as concerned with day to day price fluctuations while short-term traders may not want to miss out on any significant price swings. Whatever trading strategy is applied, investors may still want to try to get a sense of the overall picture before making the trade.

Focusing in on analyst opinions, we note that the current average broker recommendation on shares of AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN) is presently 3.18. The recommendation falls on a scale between 1 and 5. A broker rating of 1 would translate into a Strong Buy. A rating of 5 would indicate a Strong Sell recommendation. This consensus broker rating may help shed some light on how the sell-side is currently viewing company stock. Based on sell-side analysts polled by Zacks Research, 1 have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy.

Equity analysts will routinely provide stock price target projections. Many investors are highly interested in where the analysts view the stock heading in the future. Presently, analysts polled by Zacks Research have set a consensus target price of $52.5 on shares of AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN). Price target estimates can be calculated using different methods, and they may vary depending on the individual analyst. A thoroughly researched analyst report will typically provide detailed reasoning for a specific target price estimate. Some investors may track analyst targets very closely and use the data to complement their own stock analysis.

Watching stock price activity for AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN), we have spotted shares trading close to the 44.9 level. Investors will often monitor stock price levels relative to its 52-week high and low marks. The 52-week high is currently 62, and the 52-week low is presently 43.53. When a stock price is nearing the 52-week high or 52-week low, investors may closely follow activity to watch for a breach. Over the past 12 weeks, shares have moved -11.05%. Moving back to the start of the year, we can see that shares have changed -12.53%. Zooming in to the past 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of -2.45%. Over the last week, the stock has moved 2.77%.

Technical investors generally rely heavily on price charts to help spot potential trades. Chartists will often try to interpret past movements with the goal of trying to gauge the future share price movements. Some charts can be extremely complex while others may be quite simple. Many traders will spend countless hours studying the signals to try to spot optimal entry and exit points. There are many different indicators that technical analysts can follow. Some traders will use standalone signals, and others will use a robust combination. Getting into the nitty-gritty of charting can be overwhelming for the beginner. Taking the time to completely understand what the charts are saying can be the difference between a big win and a major loss.

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