AutoNation posts lower profits

AutoNation posts lower profitsLargest U.S. auto dealership group AutoNation Inc., reported narrowed loss during the fourth quarter, primarily driven by the sale of luxury cars and massive cost control measures taken. The company also recorded an increase in the revenue of 4.1 percent due to open dealership on sequential basis and 8 percent on the year-on-year basis.

Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson stated, “We are optimistic for the long-term prospects of the auto industry based on the successful restructuring of the domestic auto industry, the move to a demand-pull system and the rationalization of the dealer network."

Company reported year-on-year increase in the sale of the new vehicles due to healthy markets in Texas and Oklahoma where it reported 40% of new vehicle unit sales as well as Massachusetts where 15.1% of new vehicle unit sales. Considering the same, and recovering US economy, the company expects sale of 11.5 million vehicles in the fiscal year 2010.

Adjusted net income from continuing operations for the 2009 fourth quarter was $50 million or $0.29 per share, compared to $23 million or $0.13 per share for the prior year, a 123% increase on a per-share basis.