Lithia Motors Beats on Both Top and Bottom Lines

Just the facts, Fool.

Seth Jayson
Seth Jayson
Feb 20, 2013 at 12:00AM
Other

Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD) reported earnings on Feb. 20. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Lithia Motors beat expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased significantly. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew significantly. GAAP earnings per share expanded.

Margins contracted across the board.

Revenue details
Lithia Motors reported revenue of $877.4 million. The seven analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ wanted to see revenue of $820.7 million on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 28% higher than the prior-year quarter's $685.9 million.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.74. The nine earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.66 per share. Non-GAAP EPS of $0.74 for Q4 were 54% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.48 per share. (The prior-year quarter included $0.09 per share in earnings from discontinued operations.) GAAP EPS of $0.76 for Q4 were 7.0% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.71 per share. (The prior-year quarter included $0.09 per share in earnings from discontinued operations.)

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 15.8%, 50 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 4.2%, 30 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 2.3%, 40 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $832.4 million. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.70.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.65 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.26.

Investor sentiment

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Lithia Motors is outperform, with an average price target of $41.90.

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