AutoNation first-quarter net income soars

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Auto retail giant AutoNation Inc.‘s first-quarter net income surged on higher used-vehicle sales and revenue, jumps in parts and service revenues and gross profits per new-vehicle that more than doubled, all of which was more than enough to offset a 19 percent drop in new-vehicle sales volume and lower revenue.

The nation’s largest new-vehicle retailer said Thursday that net income soared 51 percent to $362.1 million. Revenue jumped 14 percent to $6.75 billion.

AutoNation said new-vehicle days supply was eight days at the end of March, down a day from the end of December. At the end of March 2021, the group had a 29-days supply of new vehicles.
The retailer in the first quarter opened used vehicle-only AutoNation USA stores in Charlotte, N.C., and Charleston, S.C., marking its 10th and 11th locations. AutoNation in February confirmed that it plans to open 12 AutoNation USA outlets in the next 12 months. It said Thursday it remains on target to open those stores, part of the more than 130 stores it aims to have by the end of 2026.

“Consumer demand for personal vehicle ownership remains strong and our self-sustaining used-vehicle business continues to meet this demand through our sourcing capabilities, selection of vehicles, footprint, digital tools, and core efficiencies,” AutoNation CEO Mike Manley said in a statement.

Shares of AutoNation were down 4.7 percent to $100.78 in early trading Thursday.

Q1 revenue: $6.75 billion, up 14 percent from a year earlier

Q1 net income: $362.1 million, up 51 percent from the $239.4 million earned a year earlier

Q1 vehicle sales: 136,205 combined new- and used-vehicle sales, down 3.5 percent. On a same-store basis, AutoNation sold 130,480 new and used vehicles, down 7.3 percent.

Records: First-quarter earnings per share

Ranking: AutoNation, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ranks No. 1 on Automotive Newslist of the top 150 dealership groups based in the U.S., retailing 262,403 new vehicles in 2021.

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