AutoNation (NYSE:AN) is already America's largest new-car retailer, and it's no secret that management wants to keep acquiring dealerships with the goal of increasing its business scale and brand power. For investors who are happy about that strategy, the good news is that on Oct. 28, AutoNation announced another major acquisition.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to add 12 stores throughout the state of Texas," said Mike Jackson, AutoNation's chairman, CEO and president. "This acquisition will enhance our brand mix in the state of Texas. We also look forward to welcoming Allen Samuels' customers and 1,000 associates to the AutoNation family."
While acquisitions such as these are a quick way to grow top-line revenue, there are a couple of things for investors to consider: what brands the stores sell and where they're located. Let's take a look at the deal and what it means down the road.
Everything's bigger in Texas
The recently announced acquisition will boost the importance of the Texas market for AutoNation. Once the deal closes, which will likely happen early next year, AutoNation will have 53 stores and 82 franchises in Texas, and the state will account for roughly 25% of the company's total revenue. The 12 stores acquired in the deal from Allen Samuels Auto Group will generate about $800 million in revenues through retail sales of about 19,500 new and used vehicles annually.
It's likely that this acquisition will also mean that AutoNation will continue to be dependent on three markets for the majority of its revenue, at least in the near term. Consider that at the end of 2014, of the 15 markets it operates in, just three -- Florida, Texas, and California -- generated 66% of AutoNation's revenue.
The other interesting takeaway from all of AutoNation's acquisitions during 2015 is the bet it's placing on a single auto manufacturer.
Betting on Fiat Chrysler
It's becoming pretty clear that AutoNation is focusing on beefing up its store counts among dealerships that sell Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (NYSE:FCAU) brands. Consider that of the $1.7 billion in annual revenue that AutoNation has added in 2015 by acquiring 33 stores, roughly $1 billion is generated by FCA brands. Those acquisitions will propel AutoNation past Lithia Motors, which was previously FCA's largest retailer.
However, it's important for investors to note that while the additions are heavy with FCA brands, it will really only bring more balance to the revenue it generates from domestic brands. In 2014, Ford/Lincoln generated $1.7 billion in new vehicle revenues for AutoNation, and General Motors' brands -- Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC -- generated $1.1 billion, but FCA's Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep brands generated only $671 million.
There's no question that AutoNation wants to take advantage of the rising popularity of FCA's brands to increase its revenues. Consider that FCA just reported a 15% year-over-year sales gain last month. It was the company's best October sales figure since 2001, and it marked the 67th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Furthermore, in a highly competitive industry where even a fraction of a percent of market share is a big deal, FCA is the only major automaker that has gained market share in the U.S. this year through October.
Ultimately, AutoNation's latest acquisition will benefit investors by quickly growing its top-line revenue. But it's also a move that further balances the way AutoNation generates revenue across brands. Being well-balanced -- in terms of generating revenue across many brands in multiple markets, as well as through multiple business segments -- adds stability and strength to the company, making this move a win for its shareholders.
Daniel Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.