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AutoNation 4Q performance misses Wall Street's view

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — AutoNation's fourth-quarter performance fell short of analysts' estimates as it dealt with an impairment charge and higher expenses.

Shares dropped more than 7 percent in morning trading on Thursday.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company earned $97.5 million, or 87 cents per share. That compares with $116.7 million, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier.

The current quarter included a franchise rights impairment of $15.4 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses and depreciation and amortization expenses increased.

Earnings, adjusted for asset impairment costs and to account for discontinued operations, came to 96 cents per share.

The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.05 per share.

The auto retailer's revenue rose to $5.34 billion from $5.05 billion, but missed Wall Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $5.44 billion in revenue.

For the year, AutoNation Inc. reported an adjusted profit of $3.98 per share. Revenue was reported as $20.86 billion.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on AN at http://www.zacks.com/ap/AN

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Keywords: AutoNation, Earnings Report

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