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AutoNation misses revenue expectations, names new CEO

AutoNation Inc. reported a fourth-quarter drop in earnings and revenue fell more than expected, while naming a new CEO and implementing a restructuring plan. The auto retailer’s stock was indicated down fractionally in premarket trade. Net income fell to $92.7 million, or $1.02 a share, from $151.3 million, or $1.64 a share, in the same period a year ago. The latest quarter included restructuring charges of 8 cents per share, while year-ago results included a 45-cents per share tax-reform benefit. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $1.15. Revenue fell to $5.41 billion from $5.68 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $5.63 billion, as new and used vehicle and parts and service revenue all missed expectations. The restructuring plan targets lowering costs by $50 million a year. Separately, the company named Carl Liebert its new CEO effective March 11. Liebert, currently Chief Operating Officer at USAA, will succeed current CEO Mike Jackson, who will assume the role of executive chairman on March 11. The stock has lost 26% over the past 12 months while the S&P 500 has gained 2.6%.

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