United Auto Group (NYSE:UAG), which recently reported first-quarter results, was able to survive the impact of a difficult auto market by offering a diverse lineup of products and vehicle types. Although its net income plummeted 39% in the quarter, excluding the impact of a debt redemption charge and discontinued operations, income increased 9.2%. Additionally, overall revenues and same-store sales took off.

For its fiscal first quarter, United Auto Group earned $14.6 million, or $0.15 per share, well below the $24 million, or $0.25 per share, it earned in last year's first quarter. However, excluding the items mentioned above, the company earned $28.3 million, or $0.30 per share. Sales jumped 21.6% to $3.1 billion as same-store sales were up 10.8%.

Much like its competitor Group 1 Automotive (NYSE:GPI), United Auto Group offers new and used vehicles, finance and insurance products, replacement parts, and maintenance and repair services. The plethora of sales avenues, combined with its broad mix of vehicles, enabled the auto retailer to overcome a highly competitive market.

Comps were up for each business segment, led by its used-vehicle business, which increased comps by 20.9%. On the auto front, BMW led the way with 22% of total sales, followed by Toyota (NYSE:TM) and its Lexus brand, which combined to account for 19% of vehicle sales. Not surprisingly, the Big 3 struggled.

Looking at the road ahead, United Auto Group expects to earn $0.39 to $0.43 per share in the second quarter and $1.40 to $1.50 per share for the full year. That gives it an annual growth rate ranging between a minuscule gain of 0.7% to a much more respectable increase of 7.9%. Exactly where its earnings will fall within that range is anybody's guess. If you think it can come in near the upper end of its guidance, it may be a decent buy. Otherwise, it doesn't offer enough pedal-to-the-metal growth.

For more on the race among auto retailers, check out:

Domestic auto manufacturers continue to have a tough time while Japan-based Toyota keeps gaining market share. For more great international investment ideas, come try our new Global Gains newsletter free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any of the companies in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.