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Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (PAG - Analyst Report) raised its dividend payment by 8.3% to 13 cents per share for the third quarter of 2012 from 12 cents. The increased dividend is payable on December 3, 2012 to shareholders of record as on November 12, 2012.

Penske raises dividend almost every year. This is the third time the company has increased its dividend payment in a year. In the first quarter of 2012, the raise was 10% to 11 cents per share, while in the second quarter of the year; it was 9.1% to 12 cents per share.

The Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) company saw an impressive 31% rise in adjusted earnings per share to 55 cents in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 42 cents per share in the corresponding quarter last year. With this, profits surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. In absolute terms, profits escalated 26.4% to $49.5 million compared with $39.2 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues increased 19.2% to $3.4 billion in the reported quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 3.3 billion. The revenue growth was attributable to a 20.9% increase in retail sales to 84,346 units.

Penske Automotive Group sells new and previously owned vehicles along with finance and insurance products. It operates 340 retail automotive franchises, providing 41 different brands and 30 collision repair centers. Apart from its franchises in the U.S. and Europe, the company offers repair and maintenance services to the brands it sells.

The company’s product mix, including a wide range of imported and luxury brands, helps it maintain a strong foothold in both the U.S. and international markets. It competes with Lithia Motors (LAD - Snapshot Report) and Sonic Automotive (SAH - Snapshot Report). The company will release its third quarter results on October 30.

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