Lithia posts Q2 gains; shares still slide


Lithia Motors Inc.’s net income rose in the second quarter, driven in part by gains in service and parts and used-vehicle volumes. Revenue reached a second-quarter record as Lithia continues to grow through a spate of acquisitions.

Net income rose 14 percent to $60.7 million, the dealership group said Wednesday. Revenue jumped even more — Lithia posted a 26 percent gain to reach second-quarter revenue of $3.1 billion. Same-store gross profit grew in all aspects of the operation except new-vehicle retail sales, where Lithia experienced a 2.5 percent falloff in unit sales.

“Our stores generated strong revenue growth, both overall and on a same-store basis,” Lithia CEO Bryan DeBoer said in a statement. “We are targeting further acquisition growth and continue to invest in innovation and digital initiatives for the future.”

Despite the report, Lithia shares fell 11.7 percent to $83.10 in afternoon trading during a difficult day for automotive stocks. 

The Medford, Ore., company reported online traffic increased 35 percent in the second quarter over year-earlier numbers. Lithia last week announced the creation of an executive position heading digital strategy, bringing on George Hines, former chief information officer of wellness brand Massage Envy Franchising, as the dealership group’s first chief technology and innovation officer.

During the second quarter, Lithia added two newly acquired Ford stores, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Eatontown, N.J., and sold a Mitsubishi store in Fresno, Calif. That followed an even-busier first quarter on the acquisition front in which Lithia acquired a couple of stand-alone stores, plus the Day Group in Pittsburgh and six stores from the Prestige Family of Fine Cars in New Jersey. Lithia last year purchased 18 stores and opened one.

Records: Revenue of $3.09 billion topped the year-ago figure of $2.5 billion, setting a second-quarter record.

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