The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Lithia Motors beat expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue improved significantly and GAAP earnings per share grew significantly.
Gross margins dropped, operating margins grew, and net margins expanded.
Lithia Motors booked revenue of $717.5 million. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $662.1 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 32% higher than the prior-year quarter's $521.3 million.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.48. The seven earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.38 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.71 for Q4 were 344% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.16 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 16.3%, 60 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 4.5%, 190 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.7%, 190 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $686.9 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.42.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.00 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.14.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Lithia Motors is outperform, with an average price target of $27.14.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.