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AutoNation's June Sales Climb 10%

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Automotive retailer AutoNation Inc. (AN - Free Report) posted a 10% year-over-year increase in retail new vehicle sales to 25,162 units in June. The rise was attributable to strong sales in the Domestic segment.

On same-store basis, retail new vehicle sales went up 5% to 24,107 units. June had 26 selling days this year versus 27 selling days last year.

Sales in the Domestic segment increased 15% to 8,130 vehicles. The segment comprises retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Ford Motor Co. (F - Free Report) , Chrysler and others.

Sales in the Import segment went up 8% to 12,460 vehicles. The segment covers retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corp. (TM - Free Report) , Honda Motor Co. (HMC - Free Report) and others.

Sales in the Premium Luxury segment rose 8% to 4,572 vehicles during the month. The segment consists of retail automotive franchises selling vehicles manufactured by Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus and others.

AutoNation recorded a 10% increase in new vehicle sales to 22,515 units in Apr and 11% growth to 26,372 units in May. The company registered nearly 10% increase in new vehicle sales to 74,049 units in the second quarter of 2013. Domestic segment sales improved 16%. Import segment sales rose 7% and Premium Luxury segment sales climbed 10% in the quarter.

Auto sales in the U.S. grew 9.2% to 1.40 million units in June, translating into a 13.2% year-over-year rise to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 15.96 million units, the fastest since Dec 2007. The year-over-year improvement was attributable to the growing popularity of pickups among buyers together with improvements in housing, construction and energy sectors.

In addition, strong pent-up demand, launch of new models, lower interest on auto loans and a resilient economy leading to higher consumer confidence had favorable impacts on the results.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, AutoNation is the largest automotive retailer in the U.S. The company owns and operates about 266 new vehicle franchises that sell 32 brands located in the major metropolitan markets across 15 states.

AutoNation posted a 21.4% rise in earnings per share to 68 cents in the first quarter of 2013 from 56 cents in the same quarter of 2012, topping the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents.

Revenues increased 10.8% to $4.1 billion, slightly ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.0 billion. The revenue growth was mainly attributable to strong new vehicle sales during the quarter. The company retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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