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AutoNation Segment Strength Boosts November Sales 6% Y/Y - Analyst Blog

AutoNation Inc. ( AN ) reported that total retail sales of new vehicles in Nov 2014 increased 6% year over year to 27,055 units. On a same-store basis, retail new vehicle sales rose 4% year over year. Notably, Nov 2014 had one less working day compared to Nov 2013.

Segmental Results

Retail new vehicle unit sales in AutoNation's Domestic segment increased 8% to 7,997 vehicles. The segment comprises retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Co. ( F ), Chrysler and other automakers.

Sales at AutoNation's Import segment went up 6% year over year to 12,918 vehicles in Nov 2014. The segment covers retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corp. ( TM ), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ( HMC ) and others.

In the Premium Luxury segment, sales surged 4% year over year to 6,140 vehicles during the month. This segment consists of retail automotive franchises which offer vehicles made by Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus and other carmakers.

U.S. Auto Sales

Rising U.S. auto sales is contributing to AutoNation's sales growth. Attractive Black Friday deals, rising wages and household wealth, improving job security and falling gas prices boosted U.S. light-vehicle sales 5% year over year to 1.3 million units in Nov 2014.

Sales on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate ("SAAR") basis amounted to 17.2 million units against 16.3 million in Nov 2013 and 16.5 million in Oct 2014. Strong light truck sales accounted for most of the improvement even as car sales inched down.

Earnings Review

AutoNation - a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock - posted a 20% rise in earnings per share to 90 cents in the third quarter of 2014 from 75 cents in the same quarter of 2013. Earnings per share also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 86 cents.

Revenues increased 9.8% to $4.9 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.8 billion. The uptrend can be attributed to strong performance at the new vehicles, parts and service, used vehicles, and finance and insurance business sectors. The company's Premium Luxury segment gained the most in the quarter.

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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 Nasdaq, Inc.


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

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