Thursday, August 16, 2012

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE:AN - News) revealed an 11% rise in new vehicle sales to 24,342 units in December last year, mainly driven by strong sales growth in its Premium Luxury brands.

Sales of the Domestic brands, which comprise stores that sell vehicles manufactured by General Motors (NYSE:GM - News), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F - News) and Chrysler LLC, escalated 17% on a year-over-year basis to 7,609 Replica Movado Watch units.

Sales of the Import brands, comprising stores that sell vehicles manufactured primarily by Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM - News), Honda Motor Co. (HMC'>HMC) and Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY'>NSANY), were flat at 11,621 units due to disruptions in production on the back of the twin disasters in Japan in March last year and severe floods in Thailand in the second half of 2011.

Meanwhile, sales of the Premium Luxury brands, comprising stores that sell vehicles including Daimler AG (DDAIF'>DDAIF) Mercedes Benz, BMW and Toyota Lexus, surged GUESS Fake Watch 32% to 5,112 units. The impressive rise in sales was mainly attributable to a 56% increase in sales of Mercedes and 23% growth in sales of BMW.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, AutoNation retail new vehicle sales rose 12% from the year-ago level. The company Domestic brand sales went up 19%, Import 1%, and Premium Luxury 31% during the period.

For full year 2011, the company retail new vehicle sales grew 7%. Meanwhile, its Domestic brand sales increased 17%, Import brand sales was flat, and Premium Luxury brand sales rose 15% from 2010.

Last month, light vehicle sales rose 9% to a seasonally adjusted annual number (SAAR) of 13.6 million units, driven by low interest rates, easier credit standards, decreasing unemployment rate and pent-up consumer demand. For full year 2011, sales appreciated 10% to 12.8 million vehicles, the highest since 2008 when the global financial crisis showed up.

AutoNation, a Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) stock, reported a 21% rise in profits to $70.7 million in the third quarter of 2011 from $58.5 million in the same quarter of 2010. On per share basis, profit was 48 cents and in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate compared with 39 cents in the third quarter of 2010.

The company total revenue increased 7% to $3.5 billion, driven mainly by increases in new and used vehicle average selling prices. It was also in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

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