AutoNation's Sales Climb 1% Y/Y in June - Analyst Blog

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Automotive retailer AutoNation Inc. 's ( AN ) total retail sales of new vehicles increased 1% year over year to 25,450 units in Jun 2014. On a same-store basis, retail new vehicle sales totaled 25,141 units, in-line with the year-ago figure. Jun 2014 sales mark the best monthly sales of the company since Jun 2007.

Segment Results

Retail new vehicle unit sales in AutoNation's Domestic segment declined 7% to 7,589 vehicles. The segment comprises retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Co. ( F ), Chrysler and other automakers.

Sales in AutoNation's Import segment dropped 2% to 12,168 vehicles in Jun 2014 from the corresponding month last year. The segment covers retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation ( TM ), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ( HMC ) and others.

In the Premium Luxury segment of AutoNation, sales surged 25% year over year to 5,693 vehicles during the month. This segment consists of retail automotive franchises which offer vehicles made by Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus and other carmakers.

Quarterly Sales

AutoNation registered nearly 10% increase in new vehicle sales to 81,394 units in the second quarter of 2014. With this, the company recorded the best second-quarter sales since 2006. On a same-store basis, retail new vehicle sales improved 7% to 79,567 units this quarter. Domestic segment sales improved 3%, Import segment sales rose 11% and Premium Luxury segment sales climbed 20% in the quarter.

U.S. Auto Sales

U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 1% year over year to 1.42 million in Jun 2014. The modest increase can be attributed to the two less selling days in Jun 2014 compared with Jun 2013. Sales on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) basis increased to 17 million in Jun 2014 from the year-ago level of 15.9 million units. This is the first month since Jul 2006 in which SAAR reached 17 million.

Earnings Review

AutoNation posted a 10.3% rise in earnings per share to 75 cents in the first quarter of 2014 from 68 cents in the same quarter of 2013. However, earnings per share were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

AutoNation is set to report second-quarter 2014 results on Jul 17. In the trailing four quarters it posted an average surprise of +0.86%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for second quarter 2014 is 87 cents per share.

AutoNation currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



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