) posted a 54.2% increase in adjusted earnings per share to 74
cents in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 48 cents in the
corresponding quarter last year. The quarterly EPS surpassed the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7 cents. In absolute terms, profits
shot up 52% to $19.3 million from $12.7 million in the year-ago
ASBURY AUTO GRP (ABG): Free Stock Analysis
AMERICAS CAR-MT (CRMT): Free Stock Analysis
LITHIA MOTORS (LAD): Free Stock Analysis
PENSKE AUTO GRP (PAG): Free Stock Analysis
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Revenues for the quarter increased 26.2% to $877.4 million from
$695.3 million in the year-ago quarter. The growth in revenues
was driven by better performance across all the segments, with
finance and insurance business and new vehicle sales being the
bright spots. Revenues were ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of $825.0 million.
Revenues from new vehicle sales improved 32.7% to $506.9 million
in the quarter. New vehicle retail sales increased 31.8% to
14,713 units. However, revenues per vehicle increased marginally
by 1% to $34,451. On a same-store basis, revenues from new
vehicle sales went up 30.8% to $490.0 million.
Revenues from used vehicle retail climbed 22.5% to $208.4 million
in the quarter. Revenues from used vehicle wholesale crept up
2.6% to $35.8 million. Used vehicle retail sales improved 21.7%
to 11,943 units with revenues per vehicle increasing marginally
by 1% to $17,447. Same-store revenues from used vehicle sales
went up 20.1% to $200.4 million.
Revenues from service body and parts went up 9.3% to $89.7
million. Meanwhile, the company's finance and insurance business
witnessed a 30.6% rise in revenues to $29.2 million. Revenues
from Fleet and other shot up 87.4% to $7.5 million.
Gross profit increased 22.6% to $138.4 million from $112.9
million in the year-ago quarter. Operating income improved 23% to
$36.8 million from $29.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
For 2012, Lithia Motors reported adjusted earnings of $2.96 per
share, up 51.8% from $1.95 a year ago. Net income surged 48.8% to
$77.4 million from $52.0 million in 2011. The company's revenues
for the year increased 26% to $3.3 billion from $2.6 billion in
2011, driven by better performance across all the businesses.
Lithia Motors had cash and cash equivalents of $42.8 million as
of Dec 31, 2012, up from $20.9 million as of Dec 31, 2011. Total
debt was $295.1 million as of Dec 31, 2012 compared with $286.9
million as of Dec 31, 2011.
The company had an operating cash outflow of $212.5 million in
the full year 2012 compared to a cash outflow of $766.0 thousand
in the corresponding period of 2011.
Lithia Motors expects earnings in the range of 69 cents to 71
cents per share for the first quarter of 2013 and $3.25 to $3.35
for the full year 2013. The company expects revenues between $3.7
billion and $3.8 billion for 2013, with an 11.5% increase in new
vehicle same-store sales and a 9% rise in used vehicle same-store
sales. Same-store sales from service body and parts are expected
to improve 5%. The company also expects capital expenditures of
$55 million and a tax rate of 39.5% for 2013.
Lithia Motors is the ninth largest automotive retailer in U.S.
With 87 stores in 11 states, the company provides 27 new vehicle
brands along with all brands of used vehicle. Currently, it
retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
America's Car-Mart Inc.
sbury Automotive Group, Inc.
Penske Automotive Group, Inc.
) are performing well in the same industry where it operates. All
of them hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)