United Auto Group
posted higher-than-expected profits and raised its guidance for the rest of the year on strong automotive sales.
The car dealer said its first-quarter net income was $15.7 million, or 40 cents a share, up from $6.6 million, or 21 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected to see 35 cents a share.
Revenue for the quarter was up 19% to $1.63 billion from $1.37 billion last year, above the consensus estimate of $1.56 billion.
United Auto's same-store sales were up 6.4%, and same-store retail gross profit increased 9.8% for the quarter. In a press release, the company said its business remains strong due to "brand mix and geographical diversity." Most of the company's new sales came from imported brands as the U.S. market experienced a modest decline.
Based on the company's strong results, United Auto raised its guidance for the rest of the year. The company now expects EPS of 51 cents to 53 cents for the second quarter, ahead of estimates of 50 cents, and full-year EPS of $1.80 to $1.86, beating the consensus estimate of $1.74.
United Auto stock closed at $24.92 Tuesday before the news.