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AutoNation's Aug Sales Up 32% Y/Y

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Automotive retailer AutoNation Inc.’s (AN - Free Report) retail new vehicle sales increased 32% year-over-year to 30,582 units in August, driven by strong sales in all segments.

On same-store basis, retail new vehicle sales increased 26% to 29,221 units.  The Labor Day holiday weekend was included in August this year as against its inclusion in September in 2012.

Sales in the Domestic segment increased 34% to 9,308 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 escalated 29% to 16,173 vehicles. The segment covers retail automotive franchises that sell vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation.  (TM - Free Report) , Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC - Free Report) and others.

Sales in the Premium Luxury segment jumped 37% to 5,101 vehicles during the month. The segment consists of retail automotive franchises selling vehicles manufactured by Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus and others.

Auto sales in the U.S. grew 17% to 1.5 million units in August, which is the highest since May 2007. Sales rose to 16.1 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted rate basis, crossing the 16 million mark for the first time since Nov 2007.

The strong sales were attributed to the ongoing macroeconomic recovery and aging vehicles in the U.S. August turned out to be a favorable month for automakers, with many large manufacturers recording their highest August sales since the recession. Among the six major automakers (in the U.S. and Japan), four recorded more than 20% volume gain in August.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., AutoNation is the largest automotive retailer in the U.S. The company owns and operates about 267 new vehicle franchises that sell 33 brands located in the major metropolitan markets across 15 states.

AutoNation reported all-time record earnings from operations in the second quarter of 2013. The company posted a 10.6% rise in earnings per share to 73 cents in the second quarter from 66 cents in the same quarter of 2012. However, earnings per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny.

Revenues increased 13.4% to $4.43 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.35 billion. The revenue growth was attributable to strong performance in all business sectors along with higher revenues from retailed used vehicle and Finance and Insurance businesses. The company’s Domestic segment was the biggest gainer in the quarter.

AutoNation currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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