Group 1 Automotive Inc.
) revealed that it has acquired a
) dealership located in Shreveport, La. The Rountree Ford Lincoln
dealership is expected to generate $80 million in estimated
revenues per year.
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In Feb, the automotive retailer also acquired four Ford Motor
dealerships in southwest of London in the U.K. They are located
in the towns of Farnborough, Guildford, Wokingham and Bracknell.
The U.K. dealership is expected to generate about $177 million in
estimated annual revenues. It will complement Group 1
Automotive's existing five BMW/MINI dealerships in Farnborough
and other market areas south and southwest of London. The
dealerships will trade under the "think Ford" brand name.
Group 1 Automotive strongly pursues dealership acquisition
strategy. The automotive retailer owns franchises of many
prominent automakers apart from Ford Motor, such as
Toyota Motor Corporation
In the first quarter of the year, 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.
Last month, GPI's board of directors 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.
Group 1 Automotive is one of the largest automotive retailers in
the U.S., which provides 35 automotive brands. As of Mar 31,
2013, the company had 143 automotive dealerships, 182 franchises
and 36 collision centers in the U.S., U.K and Brazil. Currently,
it retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).