AutoNation continued its upward movement in the number of used vehicles retailed during the third quarter, pushing its total through the first nine months of the year 7.4 percent higher than the same point in 2014.
The dealer group reported on Wednesday that it retailed 56,584 used vehicles in Q3, marking a 1.4-percent uptick from a year ago. That quarterly figure moved the company’s used-retail total through Sept. 30 to 161,376 vehicles, an amount higher by 11,994 units.
Like dealerships of all sizes are experiencing, AutoNation also saw its gross profit on those retailed used vehicles soften in Q3. The latest figure dipped by $109 year-over-year to come in at $1,513.
Helping to pick up the slack, AutoNation made a $145 improvement in F&I gross profit as the metric stood at $1,546 at the close of the quarter.
That retail used performance as well as the F&I activity helped AutoNation to generate Q3 total net income from continuing operations of $119 million, or $1.05 per share, compared to net income from continuing operations of $107 million, or $0.90 per share, for the same period in the prior year. The rise represented a 17-percent improvement on a per-share basis.
The company’s Q3 revenue totaled $5.4 billion compared to $4.9 billion in the year-ago period, an increase of 9 percent. Executives cited stronger performance in all business sectors — new vehicles, used vehicles, parts and service, and finance and insurance.
In the third quarter, AutoNation's retail new vehicle unit sales increased 7 percent overall and 5 percent on a same store basis.
“We are very pleased with our strong year-over-year growth across all areas of our business, as well as our 20th consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year growth in EPS,” AutoNation chairman, chief executive officer and president Mike Jackson said.
“This quarter we set another record for the highest ever quarterly EPS from continuing operations,” Jackson continued.
“We are pleased with how the AutoNation brand continues to be embraced and with the progress of our digital initiatives,” Jackson went on to say. “Our consumer-friendly websites now generate over 25 percent of unit sales while sales from third-party sources have decreased to under 9 percent.”
And as previously reported by AuSM on Wednesday, AutoNation is making a major expansion in Texas by acquiring a dozen stores.