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AutoNation Oct Sales Up Y/Y

Zacks Equity Research

Automotive retailer AutoNation Inc.’s (AN) total retail new vehicle sales increased 9% year over year to 22,914 units in Oct 2013. On a same-store basis, retail new vehicle sales improved 4% from Oct 2012 to 21,833 units.

Retail new vehicle unit sales in AutoNation’s Domestic segment increased 9% to 7,003 vehicles. The segment comprises retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Co. (F), Chrysler and others.

Sales in AutoNation’s Import segment escalated 8% to 10,744 vehicles in Oct 2013. The segment covers retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation (TM), Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC) and others.

In the Premium Luxury segment of AutoNation, sales jumped 13% to 5,167 vehicles during the month. Retail automotive franchises selling vehicles manufactured by Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus and others constitute this segment.

Earnings Review

AutoNation reported all-time record earnings from operations in the third quarter of 2013. The company posted a 13.6% rise in earnings per share to 75 cents in the third quarter from 66 cents in the same quarter of 2012. However, earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3 cents. This was the fourth straight quarter in which the company reported record earnings.

Revenues increased 13.7% to $4.47 billion, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The revenue growth was attributable to strong performance across all business sectors. The company’s Domestic segment performed the best in the quarter.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., AutoNation is the largest automotive retailer in the U.S. The company owns and operates about 267 new vehicle franchises that offer 33 brands across major metropolitan cities in 15 states.

AutoNation currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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