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DailyTidings.com
  • Lithia posts record earnings

  • Lithia Motors continued on its course of record earnings in the second quarter.
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  • Lithia Motors continued on its course of record earnings in the second quarter.
    The Medford-based auto retailer today reported the highest quarterly adjusted net income in its history: $35.2 million, or $1.34 per share, up 29.1 percent from the second quarter of 2013.
    Including the profit from sold or shuttered units, Lithia's net income for the quarter was more than $38.3 million, up nearly 50 percent from the $25.6 million reported in the second quarter of 2013.
    The bottom-line success was fueled by 21 percent revenue growth to more $1.2 billion, up $213 million from a year ago.
    "For the first time in our history, same-store sales experienced double-digit increases in all four business lines," Bryan DeBoer, Lithia president and CEO told analysts and investors during a morning conference call.
    Service, body and parts sales grew 10 percent, thanks to a 15 percent burst in warranty activity and customer-paid maintenance rising by 10 percent. Lithia also benefitted from the acceleration of auto industry-wide sales, with a rate in June that would equal annual sales of 16.9 million vehicles, the highest level since July 2006.
    During the first half of 2014, Lithia showed 25 percent growth in its earnings to $2.36 per share.
    The quarter was filled with transactions, including the largest in company history during June. However, the $362.5 million acquisition of DCH Auto Group won't make its full impact on the balance sheet until after it closes in the fourth quarter.
    "The acquisition market remains robust," DeBoer said. "We continue to seek stores reflecting Lithia's exclusive market strategy and believe the potential remains for more acquisitions in 2014."
    Lithia finished June with $28 million in cash and $84 million in available credit, as well as $216 million of unfinanced real estate, giving the company potential liquidity of $274 million.
    — Greg Stiles
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