AutoNation Q4 Results Top Estimates

Automotive retailer AutoNation, Inc. (AN) reported on Friday that profit for the fourth quarter declined 26 percent from last year, hurt by higher costs and expenses, despite 2 percent revenue growth. However, adjusted earnings per share and quarterly revenues topped analysts’ expectations.

For the fourth quarter, net income decreased to $286.4 million or $5.72 per share from $387.1 million or $5.87 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings for the quarter was $6.37 per share, compared to $5.76 per share in the year-ago quarter.

On average, ten analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $5.83 per share for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Total revenues for the quarter increased 1.7 percent to $6.70 billion from $6.58 billion in the same quarter last year. Analysts expected revenues of $6.52 billion for the quarter.

New vehicle revenue grew 7.9 percent to $3.15 billion from $2.92 billion, while used vehicle revenue were down 7.5 percent to $2.17 billion from $2.34 billion from last year.

Parts and service revenue was $1.03 billion, up 7 percent from $961.1 million, while net finance and insurance revenue decreased 2.4 percent to $345.1 million from $353.6 million from a year ago.

Domestic revenues declined 7.6 percent to $1.88 billion from $2.03 billion, import revenues were up 1.1 percent to $1.89 billion from $1.87 billion, and premium luxury revenues were $2.68 billion, up 9.7 percent from $2.44 billion a year ago.

New vehicle retail unit sales were up 4 percent to 60,074 units from 57,601 units a year ago, while used vehicle retail unit sales declined 9 percent to 67,608 units from 74,442 units last year.

In late January, the company completed the acquisition of RepairSmith, a full-service mobile solution for automotive repair and maintenance, with a significant operational footprint in the southern and western U.S.

RepairSmith will serve as a resource for reconditioning and internal services to increase AutoNation’s speed to frontline readiness and expedite vehicle delivery to Customers.

In November, AutoNation also picked up an approximately 6.1 percent minority ownership stake in TrueCar, Inc. (TRUE), a leading automotive digital marketplace that lets auto buyers and sellers connect to its nationwide network of Certified Dealers.

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