AutoNation Inc., is currently the leading U.S. auto retail group. AutoNation posted a strong quarterly profit as buyers paid more vehicles but a lack of sales resulted in shares falling 4 percent.
The Japan earthquake and aftermath caused decreased inventories, which drove up prices quickly. The increase in used-car prices caused some consumers to shop elsewhere.
AutoNation is the most recent U.S. dealership group to report a increase in profit margin following the leaner vehicle inventories.
AutoNation’s sales came up short of expectations and the stock fell. AutoNation’s second-quarter net income rose 52 percent to $71.9 million, or 48 cents a share, from $47.2 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier.
AutoNation’s shares fell $1.60, or 4 percent, to $38.51 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Lithia shares were up 3.9 percent, or 85 cents, at $22.58.
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