AutoNation's Strong Quarter

AutoNation

If there was any doubt AutoNation (NYSE:AN) is pulling away from the pack as the premier auto dealer last week, this quarter, in this environment ought to put any doubt to rest. These results surpassed even my most optimistic scenarios.

Highlights:
  • AutoNation reports 1st Quarter 2009 EPS from continuing operations of $0.27 or ($0.23 on an adjusted basis) vs. analyst consensus of $0.16 -- AutoNation beats consensus by $0.11 or $0.07.)
  • AutoNation improved adjusted EPS for continuing operations, by 90% compared to 4th quarter 2008. ($0.12 reported in fourth quarter 2008)
  • AutoNation continues to show margin improvement. As we moved to 3.6 percent in Q1 ’09 from 2.3 percent in 4th Q ’08. Industry lending operating margins.
  • At the end of Q1 ’09 our liquidity is strong with approximately $400 million of cash and revolver available.
  • AutoNation new vehicle sales decline 43% compared to industry declines of 46%, according to CNW.
  • AutoNation reduces debt $1.25 billion since January 1, 2008.
  • AutoNation reduced debt of approximately $500 million in 1st Quarter.
  • New Vehicle inventory down 20,000 units YOY and down 11,000 units from 4th Quarter 2008.
  • Used vehicle inventory stood at 36 days, down 4 days YOY.
  • Mr. Jackson has visited with the Automotive Task Force on three occasions – diligent and transparent.
  • 1st quarter revenue of $2.5 billion.
  • U.S. SAAR in 1st quarter at 9.5 million new vehicle units, a 30 year low, even lower than the 10.3 reported in Q4 2008. (note 2008 1st Q SAAR was 15.2)
  • Regarding the Chrysler situation….given our low level of exposure (4% of sales), we would remain within our financial covenants even in the event they go out of business.
  • We take President Obama at his word, that he will support GM (NYSE:GM).

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