Asbury Automotive Group Announces 2011 Second Quarter Financial Results Second quarter adjusted EPS from continuing operations of $0.51 per diluted share, up 28% over prior period quarter

DULUTH, Ga., July 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: ABG), one of the largest automotive retail and service companies in the U.S., today reported adjusted income from continuing operations for the second quarter 2011 of $16.8 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, versus income from continuing operations in the second quarter 2010 of $13.1 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, a 28% increase per diluted share.  Net income for the second quarter 2011 was $14.2 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, compared to $12.8 million, or $0.39 per diluted share in the prior year period.  See attached reconciliation for reported adjustments.

Second Quarter 2011 Highlights (compared to the prior year period):

  • Total revenues increased 9% to $1.1 billion
  • New vehicle revenues increased 5%, including 2% from same store revenues
  • Used vehicle retail revenues and units up 22%, including 17% from same store revenues
  • Finance and insurance revenues up 20%
  • Total gross profit up 14% with strong increases from all business lines
  • Adjusted SG&A expense as a percent of gross profit improved 130 basis points to 75.1%
  • J6 inventories down approximately 50% versus March 2011 (see tables below)

Strategic Updates:

  • Board elected Thomas C. DeLoach, Jr. as Non-Executive Chairman effective as of August 1, 2011
  • Repurchased $13 million of Asbury common stock during the quarter
  • Board increased share repurchase authorization in July; $45 million remaining
  • Reducing leverage target to 3.0x Total Debt/EBITDA
  • Acquired $13 million of previously leased properties during the quarter
  • Subsequent to the end of the quarter, repurchased $9 million of the convertible notes due 2012
  • 65% of the DMS conversions completed to date

"Once again, Asbury is pleased to announce double-digit growth in adjusted EPS from continuing operations, proving both the resiliency of our business model and the agility of our Company," said Craig T. Monaghan, Asbury's President and CEO. "We produced these excellent results through a dramatic 70 basis point improvement in our new vehicle margins, achieving a Company record used-to-new ratio, and setting a Company record increase in finance and insurance profit per vehicle retailed."  

Commenting on the Japanese supply challenges, Michael S. Kearney, Asbury's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer stated, "We are encouraged by the speed and efficiency with which our Japanese manufacturing partners are restoring production capacity, and admire their dedication. Our Japanese dealerships are experiencing the impact of inventory shortages; we anticipate that our affected inventories will bottom-out in July or August. We believe our third quarter earnings could be adversely impacted in the range of $0.05-0.10 per diluted share as a result of disruptions in the market. Our results will depend on, amongst other things, SAAR, when production reaches normalized levels, and when we are able to receive a more favorable mix of product at our dealerships. We believe this will be a short-term issue and expect much healthier inventory levels heading into the fourth quarter."

Asbury will host a conference call to discuss its second quarter results this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The call will be simulcast live on the Internet and can be accessed by logging onto http://www.asburyauto.com or http://www.ccbn.com.  In addition, a live audio of the call will be accessible to the public by calling (800) 768-6563 (domestic), or (785) 830-7991 (international); passcode - 4451418.  Callers should dial in approximately 5 to 10 minutes before the call begins.

About Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. ("Asbury"), headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, is one of the largest automobile retailers in the U.S.  Built through a combination of organic growth and a series of strategic acquisitions, Asbury currently operates 80 retail auto stores, encompassing 99 franchises for the sale and servicing of 29 different brands of American, European and Asian automobiles.  Asbury offers customers an extensive range of automotive products and services, including new and used vehicle sales and related financing and insurance, vehicle maintenance and repair services, replacement parts and service contracts.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical fact, and may include statements relating to goals, plans, market conditions and projections regarding Asbury's financial position, liquidity, results of operations, market position and dealership portfolio, the benefits of its restructuring program and other initiatives and future business strategy.  These statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs and involve significant risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements.  These risks and uncertainties include, among other things, market factors, Asbury's relationships with, and the financial and operational stability of, vehicle manufacturers and other suppliers, the impact of supply challenges resulting from weather-related or other events in Japan, risks associated with Asbury's indebtedness (including available borrowing capacity, compliance with its financial covenants and ability to refinance such indebtedness on favorable terms), Asbury's relationships with, and the financial stability of, its lenders and lessors, risks related to competition in the automotive retail and service industries, general economic conditions both nationally and locally, governmental regulations, legislation, adverse results in litigation and other proceedings, and Asbury's ability to execute its IT initiatives and other operational strategies, Asbury's ability to leverage gains from its dealership portfolio, Asbury's ability to capitalize on opportunities to repurchase its debt and equity securities or purchase properties that it currently leases, and Asbury's ability to stay within its targeted range for capital expenditures.  There can be no guarantees that Asbury's plans for future operations will be successfully implemented or that they will prove to be commercially successful.  

These and other risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements are and will be discussed in Asbury's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequently filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.  We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

ASBURY AUTOMOTIVE GROUP, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(In millions, except per share data)

(Unaudited)
  

For the Three Months Ended

June 30,


For the Six Months Ended

June 30,


2011


2010


2011


2010

REVENUES:








New vehicle

$

578.3


$

548.4


$

1,149.5


$

1,025.4

Used vehicle

322.7


279.9


624.1


528.7

Parts and service

149.2


141.0


293.8


278.5

Finance and insurance, net

36.0


30.0


68.4


55.2

    Total revenues

1,086.2


999.3


2,135.8


1,887.8

COST OF SALES:








New vehicle

536.7


512.6


1,073.8


956.7

Used vehicle

294.3


255.8


568.3


481.5

Parts and service

66.3


64.5


131.9


128.6

    Total cost of sales

897.3


832.9


1,774.0


1,566.8

GROSS PROFIT

188.9


166.4


361.8


321.0

OPERATING EXPENSES:








Selling, general and administrative

142.8


127.2


277.6


248.9

Depreciation and amortization

5.8


5.2


11.1


10.6

Other operating expense (income), net

2.8


(0.6)


13.2


(1.3)

    Income from operations

37.5


34.6


59.9


62.8

OTHER EXPENSE:








Floor plan interest expense

(2.3)


(2.2)


(5.0)


(4.6)

Other interest expense, net

(10.3)


(9.0)


(20.8)


(18.0)

Swap interest expense

(1.4)


(1.6)


(2.8)


(3.3)

Convertible debt discount amortization

(0.3)


(0.4)


(0.5)


(0.8)

    Total other expense, net

(14.3)


(13.2)


(29.1)


(26.7)

    Income before income taxes

23.2


21.4


30.8


36.1

INCOME TAX EXPENSE

9.0


8.3


11.9


14.0

INCOME FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS

14.2


13.1


18.9


22.1

DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS, net of tax


(0.3)


15.2


(1.9)

NET INCOME

$

14.2


$

12.8


$

34.1


$

20.2

EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:








Basic—








    Continuing operations

$

0.44


$

0.41


$

0.59


$

0.69

    Discontinued operations


(0.01)


0.47


(0.06)

         Net income

$

0.44


$

0.40


$

1.06


$

0.63

Diluted—








    Continuing operations

$

0.43


$

0.40


$

0.57


$

0.67

    Discontinued operations


(0.01)


0.46


(0.05)

         Net income

$

0.43


$

0.39


$

1.03


$

0.62

WEIGHTED AVERAGE COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING:








Basic

32.1


32.2


32.3


32.2

    Stock options

0.6


0.5


0.6


0.5

    Restricted stock

0.1


0.2


0.2


0.1

    Performance share units

0.1


0.1


0.1


Diluted

32.9


33.0


33.2


32.8



New Vehicle—



For the Three Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Increase

(Decrease)


%

Change


(Dollars in millions, except for per vehicle data)

Revenue:








New vehicle revenue—same store(1)








    Luxury

$

197.9



$

191.6



$

6.3



3

%

    Mid-line import

275.1



277.9



(2.8)



(1)

%

    Mid-line domestic

87.3



78.9



8.4



11

%

         Total new vehicle revenue—same store(1)

560.3



548.4



11.9



2

%

New vehicle revenue—acquisitions

18.0








         New vehicle revenue, as reported

$

578.3



$

548.4



$

29.9



5

%

Gross profit:








New vehicle gross profit—same store(1)








    Luxury

$

15.7



$

14.3



$

1.4



10

%

    Mid-line import

18.8



15.7



3.1



20

%

    Mid-line domestic

5.7



5.8



(0.1)



(2)

%

         Total new vehicle gross profit—same store(1)

40.2



35.8



4.4



12

%

New vehicle gross profit—acquisitions

1.4








         New vehicle gross profit, as reported

$

41.6



$

35.8



$

5.8



16

%










For the Three Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Increase

(Decrease)


%

Change

New vehicle units:








New vehicle retail units—same store(1)








    Luxury

3,999



3,992



7



%

    Mid-line import

10,645



11,131



(486)



(4)

%

    Mid-line domestic

2,388



2,051



337



16

%

         Total new vehicle retail units—same store(1)

17,032



17,174



(142)



(1)

%

    Fleet vehicles

566



675



(109)



(16)

%

         Total new vehicle units—same store(1)

17,598



17,849



(251)



(1)

%

    New vehicle units—acquisitions

529








         New vehicle units—actual

18,127



17,849



278



2

%



New Vehicle Metrics—



For the Three Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Increase


%

Change

Revenue per new vehicle sold—same store(1)

$

31,839



$

30,724



$

1,115



4

%

Gross profit per new vehicle sold—same store(1)

$

2,284



$

2,006



$

278



14

%

New vehicle gross margin—same store(1)

7.2

%


6.5

%


0.7

%


11

%



(1) Same store amounts consist of information from dealerships for the identical months of each period presented

in the comparison, commencing with the first full month in which the dealership was owned by us.



Used Vehicle—



For the Three Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Increase

(Decrease)


%

Change


(Dollars in millions, except for per vehicle data)

Revenue:








Used vehicle retail revenues—same store(1)

$

263.9



$

224.6



$

39.3



17

%

Used vehicle retail revenues—acquisitions

10.2








    Total used vehicle retail revenues

274.1



224.6



49.5



22

%









Used vehicle wholesale revenues—same store(1)

47.5



55.3



(7.8)



(14)

%

Used vehicle wholesale revenues—acquisitions

1.1








    Total used vehicle wholesale revenues

48.6



55.3



(6.7)



(12)

%

         Used vehicle revenue, as reported

$

322.7



$

279.9



$

42.8



15

%

Gross profit:








Used vehicle retail gross profit—same store(1)

$

27.6



$

24.0



$

3.6



15

%

Used vehicle retail gross profit—acquisitions

1.0








    Total used vehicle retail gross profit

28.6



24.0



4.6



19

%









Used vehicle wholesale gross profit—same store(1)

(0.1)



0.1



(0.2)



(200)

%

Used vehicle wholesale gross profit—acquisitions

(0.1)








    Total used vehicle wholesale gross profit

(0.2)



0.1



(0.3)



(300)

%

         Used vehicle gross profit, as reported

$

28.4



$

24.1



$

4.3



18

%

Used vehicle retail units:








Used vehicle retail units—same store(1)

13,774



11,713



2,061



18

%

Used vehicle retail units—acquisitions

506








         Used vehicle retail units—actual

14,280



11,713



2,567



22

%



Used Vehicle Metrics—



For the Three Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Decrease


%

Change

Revenue per used vehicle retailed—same store(1)

$

19,159



$

19,175



$

(16)



%

Gross profit per used vehicle retailed—same store(1)

$

2,004



$

2,049



$

(45)



(2)

%

Used vehicle retail gross margin—same store(1)

10.5

%


10.7

%


(0.2)

%


(2)

%



(1) Same store amounts consist of information from dealerships for the identical months of each period presented

in the comparison, commencing with the first full month in which the dealership was owned by us.



Parts and Service—



For the Three Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Increase

(Decrease)


%

Change


(Dollars in millions)

Revenue:








Parts and service revenue—same store(1)

$

143.9



$

141.0



$

2.9



2

%

Parts and service revenues—acquisitions

5.3








    Parts and service revenue, as reported

$

149.2



$

141.0



$

8.2



6

%









Gross profit:








Parts and service gross profit—same store(1):








    Customer pay

$

49.5



$

48.9



$

0.6



1

%

    Reconditioning and preparation

13.9



11.2



2.7



24

%

    Warranty

11.3



11.1



0.2



2

%

    Wholesale parts

5.2



5.3



(0.1)



(2)

%

         Total parts and service gross profit—same store(1)

79.9



76.5



3.4



4

%

Parts and service gross profit—acquisitions

3.0








         Parts and service gross profit, as reported

$

82.9



$

76.5



$

6.4



8

%

Parts and service gross margin—same store(1)

55.5

%


54.3

%


1.2

%


2

%


(1) Same store amounts consist of information from dealerships for the identical months of each period presented

in the comparison, commencing with the first full month in which the dealership was owned by us.



Finance and Insurance, net—



For the Three Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Increase


%

Change


(Dollar in millions, except for per vehicle data)









Finance and insurance, net—same store(1)

$

34.9



$

30.0



$

4.9



16

%

Finance and insurance, net—acquisitions

1.1








Finance and insurance, net as reported

$

36.0



$

30.0



$

6.0



20

%

Finance and insurance, net per vehicle sold—same store(1)

$

1,112



$

1,015



$

97



10

%


(1) Same store amounts consist of information from dealerships for the identical months of each period presented

in the comparison, commencing with the first full month in which the dealership was owned by us.






For the Three Months Ended

June 30,


2011


2010

REVENUE MIX PERCENTAGES:




New vehicles

53.2

%


54.9

%

Used retail vehicles

25.3

%


22.5

%

Used vehicle wholesale

4.5

%


5.5

%

Parts and service

13.7

%


14.1

%

Finance and insurance, net

3.3

%


3.0

%

    Total revenue

100.0

%


100.0

%

GROSS PROFIT MIX PERCENTAGES:




New vehicles

22.0

%


21.5

%

Used retail vehicles

15.1

%


14.4

%

Used vehicle wholesale

(0.1)

%


0.1

%

Parts and service

43.9

%


46.0

%

Finance and insurance, net

19.1

%


18.0

%

    Total gross profit

100.0

%


100.0

%

SG&A EXPENSES AS A PERCENTAGE OF GROSS PROFIT

75.6

%


76.4

%




New Vehicle-



For the Six Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Increase

(Decrease)


%

Change


(Dollars in millions, except for per vehicle data)

Revenue:








New vehicle revenue—same store(1)








    Luxury

$

396.0



$

367.3



$

28.7



8

%

    Mid-line import

554.2



512.3



41.9



8

%

    Mid-line domestic

163.9



145.8



18.1



12

%

         Total new vehicle revenue—same store(1)

1,114.1



1,025.4



88.7



9

%

New vehicle revenue—acquisitions

35.4








         New vehicle revenue, as reported

$

1,149.5



$

1,025.4



$

124.1



12

%

Gross profit:








New vehicle gross profit—same store(1)








    Luxury

$

29.3



$

28.1



$

1.2



4

%

    Mid-line import

33.3



30.1



3.2



11

%

    Mid-line domestic

10.9



10.5



0.4



4

%

         Total new vehicle gross profit—same store(1)

73.5



68.7



4.8



7

%

New vehicle gross profit—acquisitions

2.2








         New vehicle gross profit, as reported

$

75.7



$

68.7



$

7.0



10

%






For the Six Months Ended

June 30,






2011


2010


Increase


%

Change

New vehicle units:








New vehicle retail units—same store(1)








    Luxury

8,009



7,686



323



4

%

    Mid-line import

21,717



20,494



1,223



6

%

    Mid-line domestic

4,531