Asbury Automotive Group Authorizes $50 Million Stock Repurchase Program

Dec 04, 2012, 17:26 ET from Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.

DULUTH, Ga., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: ABG), one of the largest automotive retail and services companies in the U.S., today announced that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $50 million of the Company's common stock.  The repurchases may be made in open market transactions. The Company's new stock repurchase program replaces, effective January 1, 2013, its expiring $47.4 million program authorized in December 2011, under which the Company has repurchased $21 million of shares since January 2012.

Asbury expects that any stock repurchases will be funded through available cash. As of October 23, 2012, the Company had approximately 31.5 million shares outstanding.

"This is consistent with our previously-announced plans to repurchase $25 to $30 million shares or more on an opportunistic basis per year," said Craig T. Monaghan, Asbury's President and CEO.

The Company will base future repurchase decisions on such factors as Asbury's stock price, general economic and market conditions, the potential impact on its capital structure, and the expected return on competing uses of capital such as strategic dealership acquisitions and capital investments. Asbury gives no assurance as to the amount of repurchases to be made or the actual purchase prices.

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 77 retail auto stores, encompassing 98 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 and projections regarding industry and general economic trends, Asbury's expected financial position, results of operations or market position and 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, Asbury's ability to execute its retailing and service business strategy, initiatives and other strategies, changes in the mix/number of vehicles Asbury is able to sell, changes in general economic and business conditions, changes in laws and regulations governing the operation of automobile franchises, changes in the price of oil and gasoline, Asbury's ability to generate sufficient cash flows, maintain its liquidity and obtain additional funds for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt maturities and other corporate purposes, Asbury's continued ability to comply with applicable covenants in its financing and lease agreements, Asbury's relationships with, and the reputation and financial health and viability of, the vehicle manufacturers whose brands Asbury sells, and their ability to design, manufacture, deliver and market their vehicles successfully, significant disruptions in the production and delivery of vehicles and parts for any reason, including natural disasters, product recalls, work stoppages or other occurrences that are outside of Asbury's control, adverse results from litigation or other similar proceedings involving Asbury, Asbury's relationship with, and the financial stability of, its lenders and lessors, high levels of competition in Asbury's industry, Asbury's ability to renew, and enter into new, framework and dealer agreements with vehicle manufacturers on acceptable terms, Asbury's ability to attract and to retain key personnel, Asbury's ability to leverage gains from its dealership portfolio, and Asbury's ability to access capital.  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.

Many of these factors are beyond Asbury's ability to control or predict.  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.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

SOURCE Asbury Automotive Group, Inc.