MEDFORD, OR -- (Marketwired) -- 04/24/13 -- Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE: LAD) today reported 2013 first quarter income from continuing operations was $21.9 million, or $0.84 per diluted share. This compares to 2012 first quarter adjusted income from continuing operations of $15.6 million, or $0.59 per diluted share.
First Quarter-over-Quarter Operating Highlights:
•New vehicle same store sales increased 22% •Used vehicle retail same store sales increased 22% •Service, body and parts same store sales increased 7% •SG&A expense as a percentage of gross profit was 69%
First quarter 2013 revenue from continuing operations increased $164.9 million, or 22%, to $903.1 million from $738.2 million in the first quarter of 2012.
"We grew quarterly EPS 42% over the adjusted prior year," said Bryan DeBoer, President and CEO. "Total same store sales increased 19% in 2013, on top of an increase of 21% in 2012. We are pleased with our performance in the service, body and parts business, which increased 7% on a same store basis, despite two fewer selling days in 2013 compared to 2012. Warranty sales increased over 9% for the second consecutive quarter, suggesting that the number of vehicles eligible for warranty repair is growing."
We did not have any adjustments to the 2013 first quarter results from continuing operations. As shown in the attached reconciliation table, the 2012 first quarter adjusted results from continuing operations exclude a net benefit of $0.04 per share for an asset impairment charge, the gain on the disposal of assets, an adjustment to an investment and a non-core tax attribute. Unadjusted, net income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2012 was $16.6 million, or $0.63 per diluted share.
Commenting on SG&A performance, Chris Holzshu, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, stated, "Cost control remains a key initiative to drive earnings growth. Our incremental throughput, or the percentage of additional gross profit dollars that flow to operating income, was 49% on a same store basis in the first quarter. This was just shy of our objective of 50%. We are focused on effective spending in personnel and advertising, which make up the majority of controllable SG&A expense."
On April 11, 2013, Lithia was granted a new franchise to sell MINI vehicles in Anchorage, Alaska. The store will be located next to our Anchorage BMW location.
"Developing strong relationships with our manufacturer partners is a key to our success," said Bryan DeBoer. "We appreciate the vote of confidence from MINI in awarding us the franchise. By understanding our customers and increasing our share of vehicles sold in each market we serve, we hope to find additional opportunities with manufacturers in the future."
During the first quarter, we repurchased 127,900 shares of our Class A common stock at a weighted average price of $40.76 per share. Our total remaining repurchase authorization is 1,726,953 shares.
Balance Sheet Update
We ended the first quarter with $15 million in cash and $151 million in available credit on our credit facilities. Additionally, approximately $149 million of operating real estate is currently unfinanced, which could provide up to an additional $112 million in available liquidity, for total liquidity of $278 million.
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