Group 1 Automotive Inc.
) revealed that its board of directors has approved a 6.7%
increase in dividend to 16 cents per share for the first quarter
of 2013 from 15 cents in the 2012-fourth quarter following its
impressive earnings release on May 2. The increased dividend is
payable on Jun 17 to stockholders of record as on Jun 3.
Group 1 Automotive raised dividend every year since it has
resumed the payment in late 2010. Last year, the automotive
retailer also raised dividend by a penny or 7.1% to 15 cents.
Group 1 Automotive posted a 19.6% rise in earnings per share to
$1.16 in the first quarter of 2013 from 97 cents in the
prior-year quarter and outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
$1.04. Net income grew 26.5% to $29.2 million from $23.1 million
in the first quarter of 2012.
Revenues increased 18% to $1.96 billion, beating the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $1.89 billion. The year-over-year
improvement was driven by strong retail new vehicle and used
vehicle unit sales as well as higher revenues from Finance and
Gross profit increased 15.4% to $300.5 million from $260.4
million in the year-ago quarter. Operating income improved 8.6%
to $58.6 million from $54.0 million in the first quarter of 2012.
During the quarter, Group 1 Automotive acquired four franchises
in the U.K and 22 franchises in Brazil, with combined annual
revenues of $827.0 million. It also disposed a franchise in
Calif., which generated annual revenues of $35.0 million in 2012.
Group 1 Automotive is one of the largest automotive retailers in
the U.S., which provides 35 automotive brands. It has 143
automotive dealerships, 182 franchises and 36 collision centers
in the U.S., U.K and Brazil. Currently, the company retains a
Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some other stocks that are performing well in the industry where
Group 1 Automotive operates include
Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.
Lithia Motors Inc.
). They carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
ASBURY AUTO GRP (ABG): Free Stock Analysis
AUTONATION INC (AN): Free Stock Analysis
GROUP 1 AUTO (GPI): Free Stock Analysis
LITHIA MOTORS (LAD): Free Stock Analysis
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