Penske Automotive Group reports 38% profit in first quarter


Penske Automotive Group Inc. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit jumped 38%, as higher consumer demand for cars and trucks boosted its sales.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based automotive retailer reported net income of $46.8 million, or 52 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, up from $33.9 million, or 37 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding losses from discontinued operations, the company reported earnings from continuing operations of $50.2 million, or 55 cents per share, for the latest quarter.

Revenue rose 18% to $3.24 billion from $2.75 billion, as total retail unit sales jumped 18% to 81,472 cars and trucks. Unit sales of new vehicles rose 12%, while unit sales of used vehicles surged 27%.

The results easily beat Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 48 cents per share on $3.12 billion in revenue, according to a FactSet poll.

Penske said sales of new vehicles increased 14% to $1.58 billion, while used vehicle sales jumped 22% to $969.7 million. Parts and service revenue rose 8.3% to $369.7 million, while sales of fleet and wholesale vehicles jumped 48% to $244.6 million.

Revenue at dealerships open at least a year rose 7.5%. The growth included an 8.5% increase at U.S. locations and 5.9% growth at international dealerships.

The metric is considered a key measure of a retailer’s health because it excludes sales at locations that opened or closed during the year.

Penske shares rose 11 cents to $26.67 in morning trading Wednesday. They are near their 52-week high of $27.58 set last Friday. Its shares are up almost 80% from their low of $14.87 set in early October.


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