) posted a 31.4% increase in earnings per share from continuing
operations 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 2 cents. In absolute
terms, profits escalated 16.3% to $82.9 million from $71.3
million in the year-ago quarter.
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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Revenues for the quarter increased 13.5% to $4.2 billion from
$3.7 billion in the year-ago quarter. The growth in revenues was
driven by strong performance of all the businesses. Revenues were
ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.0 billion.
AutoNation reported adjusted earnings from continuing operation
of $2.54 per share for 2012, up 30.9% from $1.94 a year ago. Net
income increased 12% to $319.9 million from $285.6 million in
2011. The company's revenues for the year increased 13.3% to
$15.7 billion from $13.8 billion in 2011, driven by better
performance in all the businesses.
AutoNation announced the launch of AutoNation brand. The company
will be marketing 210 Domestic and Import franchises under this
brand. The transition will be taking place for 23 manufacturer
brands from Feb 1 in South Florida and will close by the second
quarter of 2013. This strategy will support the company in
maintaining its leadership, transparency and customer service.
Revenues from new vehicle sales improved 18.7% to $2.5 billion in
the quarter. New vehicle retail sales increased 17.9% to 70,957
units. However, revenues per vehicle increased marginally by 1%
to $34,894. On a same-store basis, new vehicle retail sales went
up 17.4% to 70,644 units.
Revenues from used vehicle (retail and wholesale) crept up 3.4%
to $912.1 million in the quarter. Used vehicle retail sales
improved 2.5% to 42,987 units with revenues per vehicle
increasing 2.1% to $18,342. Same-store used vehicle sales rose
1.8% to 42,711 units.
Revenues from parts and services went up 4.7% to $600.0 million.
Meanwhile, the company's finance and insurance business witnessed
a 19.2% rise in revenues to $148.9 million.
Gross profit increased 9.3% to $632.8 million from $579.2 million
in the year-ago quarter. The improvement was driven by higher
gross profit earned from the finance and insurance and used
Gross profit per new vehicle retailed decreased 10.7% to $2,189
while gross profit per used vehicle retailed rose 6.1% to $1,575.
Gross profit from finance and insurance per vehicle retailed
swelled 6.9% to $1,307. Operating income improved 17.6% to $168.7
million from $143.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Revenues in the
segment improved 9.3% to $1.3 billion. Unit sales augmented 9% to
21,862 vehicles. Segment operating income improved 22.9% to $54.2
million from $44.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
In 2012, the segment recorded a 10.2% rise in revenues to $5.1
billion with 12.6% increase in unit sales to 85,947 vehicles.
Segment operating income went up 16.3% to $209.4 million from
$180.0 million in 2011.
Revenues from the
segment increased 17.9% to $1.5 billion. Unit sales surged 23.7%
to 33,607 automobiles. Segment operating income increased 22.3%
to $59.8 million from $48.9 million a year ago.
In 2012, the Import segment recorded a 18.2% rise in revenues to
$5.8 billion with a 26.1% increase in unit sales to 133,938
vehicles. Segment operating income went up 13.6% to $257.9
million from $227.1 million in 2011.
Revenues in the
segment went up 13.5% to $1.4 billion. Unit sales rose 19.5% to
15,488 vehicles. Segment operating income climbed 9.5% to $80.4
million from $73.4 million in the corresponding quarter last
In 2012, segment revenues went up 11.2% to $4.6 billion driven by
a 15.4% rise in unit sales to 47,925 vehicles. Segment operating
income climbed 10.8% to $270.4 million from $244.1 million in
AutoNation's cash and cash equivalents decreased to $69.7 million
as of Dec 31, 2012 from $86.6 million as of Dec 31, 2011. The
company's inventory was valued at $2.4 billion as of Dec 31, 2012
versus $1.8 billion as of Dec 31, 2011. Meanwhile, capital
expenditures increased to $183.6 million in 2012 from $158.1
million in 2011.
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, AutoNation is the
largest automotive retailer in the U.S. The company owns and
operates about 264 new vehicle franchises that sell 32 brands
located in the major metropolitan markets across 15 states.
The company offers an array of automotive products and services,
ranging from new vehicles, used vehicles, vehicle maintenance and
repair services, vehicle parts, vehicle protection products to
other aftermarket products. It retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Lithia Motors Inc.
Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.
Group 1 Automotive Inc.
) are performing well in the same industry where AutoNation
operates. Lithia Motors and Asbury Automotive are Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy) stocks while Group 1 Automotive carries a Zacks Rank