It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Asbury Automotive Group (ABG). Shares have added about 9.2% in that time frame, outperforming the S&P 500.
Will the recent positive trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Asbury Automotive due for a pullback? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers.
Asbury's Q1 Earnings Beat Estimates, Sales Miss
Asbury reported first-quarter 2023 adjusted earnings of $8.37 per share, which decreased 19% year over year. Earnings however topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $7.94 per share. This beat can be primarily attributed to higher-than-expected revenues and gross profit from the new-vehicle unit. In the reported quarter, revenues amounted to $3,582.3 million, down 8% year over year. The top line also fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,705 million.
In the quarter, new-vehicle revenues declined 5% year over year to $1,767.7 million but beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,731 million. Gross profit from the segment came in at $178.9 million, contracting 20% from the prior-year quarter but topping the consensus mark of $171 million.
Used-vehicle revenues slid 17% from the year-ago figure to $1,126.5 million and missed the consensus mark of $1,238 million. Gross profit from the segment came in at $77 million, which fell 22% but surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $68 million.
Net revenues in the finance and insurance business amounted to $172.5 million, down 15% from the year-ago quarter and in line with the consensus mark. Gross profit was $158.2 million, declining 18% year over year and missing the consensus estimate of $167 million.
Revenues from the parts and service business rose 3% from the prior-year quarter to $515.6 million but missed the consensus mark of $526 million. Gross profit from this segment came in at $282.1 million, inching up 2% year over year but missing the consensus estimate of $299 million.
Adjusted selling, general & administrative (SG&A) expenses as a percentage of gross profit rose to 57.9%, marking an increase of 37 basis points year over year. Asbury sold nearly 10,800 vehicles, an uptick of 28% from the fourth quarter of 2022, through the “end-to-end” online sales platform, Clicklane.
As of Mar 31, 2023, the company had cash and cash equivalents of $296.8 million, up from $235.3 million on Dec 31, 2022. It had long-term debt of $3,277.9 million as of Mar 31, 2023, down from $3,301.2 million on Dec 31, 2022.
During the quarter under review, Asbury repurchased approximately 110,000 shares for nearly $21 million. On Apr 24, 2023, Asbury had $184 million share repurchase authorization remaining.
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
It turns out, fresh estimates flatlined during the past month.
Currently, Asbury Automotive has a strong Growth Score of A, though it is lagging a lot on the Momentum Score front with a C. However, the stock was allocated a grade of A on the value side, putting it in the top quintile for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of A. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Asbury Automotive has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months.
Performance of an Industry Player
Asbury Automotive is part of the Zacks Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales industry. Over the past month, AutoNation (AN), a stock from the same industry, has gained 6.9%. The company reported its results for the quarter ended March 2023 more than a month ago.
AutoNation reported revenues of $6.4 billion in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of -5.2%. EPS of $6.05 for the same period compares with $5.78 a year ago.
AutoNation is expected to post earnings of $5.68 per share for the current quarter, representing a year-over-year change of -12.4%. Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate has changed +0.7%.
AutoNation has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) based on the overall direction and magnitude of estimate revisions. Additionally, the stock has a VGM Score of A.
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