The automotive retailer
) posted a modest 6% year-over-year increase in retail new
vehicle sales to 21,168 units in Feb 2013. The rise was
attributable to strong sales of the premium luxury vehicles
together with improved contribution from the new stores. The
revenues from the stores opened at least a year ago improved by
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Sales in the Premium Luxury segment escalated 19% to 4,046
vehicles for the month. The segment consists of retail automotive
franchises selling vehicles manufactured by Mercedes Benz, BMW,
Lexus and others.
Sales in the Domestic segment went up 8% to 6,655 vehicles. The
segment comprises retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles
Ford Motor Co.
), Chrysler and others.
Meanwhile, sales in the Import segment remained flat at 10,467
vehicles. The segment covers retail automotive franchises that
sell vehicles manufactured by
Toyota Motor Corp.
Honda Motor Co.
) and others.
Auto sales in the U.S. went up 3.7% to 1.19 million vehicles in
February, resulting in a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR)
of 15.4 million units for the year, 2% higher than 15.1 million
units in the same month last year.
The modest increase in sales was driven by improving construction
market, cheap financing and strong pent-up demand. However,
higher gas prices (up 36 cents to $3.78 per gallon in February)
and turbulence in the stock market had adverse impacts on the
U.S. auto industry.
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, AutoNation is the largest
automotive retailer in the U.S. The company owns and operates
about 265 new vehicle franchises that sell 32 brands located in
the major metropolitan markets across 15 states.
AutoNation reported a 31.4% increase in earnings per share to 67
cents in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 51 cents in the
corresponding quarter last year. With this, profits surpassed the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by a couple of cents.
Revenues for the quarter increased by 13.5% to $4.2 billion from
$3.7 billion in the year-ago quarter. The growth in revenues was
driven by strong performance across all the businesses. Revenues
were ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.0 billion. The
company retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).