Based on the aggregated intelligence of 125,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, automotive retailer AutoNation (NYSE:AN) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at AutoNation's business, and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

AutoNation facts

Headquarters (founded)

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (1991)

Market Cap

$2 billion


Automotive retail

TTM Revenue

$14.13 billion


Chairman/CEO Mike Jackson
President/COO Michael Maroone

Return on Equity (average, last five years and TTM)

(1.9%) and (43.8%)


Penske Automotive (NYSE:PAG)
Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI)

CAPS members bearish on AN also bearish on

General Motors (NYSE:GM)
Centex (NYSE:CTX)

CAPS members bullish on AN also bullish on

General Electric (NYSE:GE)

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over on CAPS, fully 31 of the 71 All-Star members who have rated AutoNation -- some 44% -- believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. Among the entire bear population are ponyfan81 and All-Star TSIF, who is ranked in the top 3% of our community.

In December, ponyfan81 wrote that AutoNation was all set to stall: "Not built for a down economy - will have trouble surviving if GM/Ford/Chrysler cut a lot of their dealerships."

In a pitch from last week, TSIF shares that bearishness on the stock (regardless of the All-Star roster of billionaires who own it):

Even as a contrarian, it's really hard to bet against Bill & Melinda Gates and Lampert, but their purchases of 11 Million shares on top of what they had already do not seem to have impressed the market, and don't impress me. … There are some theories that credit loosening will turn the market, but I really don't think buyers are buying right now even if credit were available. … AutoNation can't get the mix they need with the changing economy. First they stocked for record high fuel prices, now we have lows. Low cash reserves, high accounts payable, high debt ratio, (especially after last quarters losses).

What do you think about AutoNation, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 125,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.