AutoNation expands share buyback

The domestic auto industry is doing very well, and that’s reflected in the news coming from AutoNation:

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN – News) announced that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $250 million of common stock under its existing share buyback program. This has increased the total authorized amount under the program to $395.9 million.

Last year, the automotive retailer had increased the authorization amount during May and July by $250 million each. In the first quarter of 2011, the company repurchased 1.8 million shares at an aggregate price of $58.8 million, reflecting an average price of $32.60.

During the quarter, AutoNation reported a rise in profit to $70.3 million or 46 cents per share from $58.8 million or 34 cents in the year-ago period driven by strong new and used vehicle sales. The profit exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents per share.

This is excellent news for the economy, and hopefully we’ll see gas prices start to decrease, giving Americans more disposable income.


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