BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Penske Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE: PAG), an international transportation services company, today announced record first quarter results. For the three months ended March 31, 2018, income from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders increased 29.8% to $108.0 million, and related earnings per share increased 29.9% to $1.26 when compared to the same period last year. The results for the three months ended March 31, 2018 include a net benefit totaling $1.0 million after tax, or $0.01 per share, consisting of a $6.4 million net gain related to several retail automotive dealership actions including the sale of five locations and the termination of several franchises, partially offset by valuation adjustments on certain properties totaling $5.4 million.
On January 1, 2018, the company adopted ASC 606 for revenue recognition. The net impact of adopting ASC 606 in the first quarter of 2018 was an increase to net income of $0.4 million. Additionally, as a result of tax reform enacted in 2017, the company's effective tax rate in the first quarter of 2018 was 25.4% compared to 33.0% in the first quarter of 2017.
Total automotive retail unit volume increased 6.4% and total revenue increased 13.1% to $5.7 billion. Excluding foreign exchange, total revenue increased 7.3%. Foreign exchange positively impacted earnings per share by $0.06 during the first quarter.
"I'm pleased to report another quarter of record results," said Penske Automotive Group Chairman Roger S. Penske. "The record results were driven by outstanding performance across each area of our business, demonstrating the strength of our diversified transportation services model. A 6.4% increase in retail automotive unit sales, a 37.7% same-store retail revenue increase in the company's North American retail commercial truck business, the growth of the stand-alone used vehicle supercenter operations, and the investment in Penske Truck Leasing contributed to the record first quarter. Furthermore, I am particularly pleased to report a 100 basis point improvement in selling, general and administrative expenses as a percent of gross profit and gross profit flow-through of nearly 32%, demonstrating the strong expense leverage our model is capable of producing."
New +6.7%; Used +11.4%; Finance & Insurance +10.4%; Service and Parts +8.0%
Same-Store Average Gross Profit Per Unit
New $3,039, +$110/unit; Gross Margin 7.4%, -30 basis points
Excluding Foreign Exchange $2,864, -$65/unit
Used $1,607, +$57/unit; Gross Margin 5.5%, -30 basis points
Excluding Foreign Exchange $1,515, -$35/unit
Finance & Insurance $1,238, +$113/unit
Excluding Foreign Exchange $1,177, +$52/unit
Same-Store Variable Gross Profit Per Unit $3,590, +$183/unit
Excluding Foreign Exchange $3,394, -$13/unit
Retail Commercial Truck Operations
For the three months ended March 31, 2018, the company's retail commercial truck operations retailed 2,105 units, generated $292.4 million of revenue, and $46.6 million of gross profit. On a same-store basis, total units retailed increased 39.7% and retail revenue increased 37.7% for the three months ended March 31, 2018, including a 15.1% increase in service and parts revenue. Fixed cost absorption improved to 120.7% from 115.5% for the same period last year.
Penske Truck Leasing
Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. ("PTL") is a leading provider of full-service truck leasing, truck rental, contract maintenance, and logistics services. During 2017, the company increased its ownership interests in PTL by 5.5%, bringing our total ownership interest in PTL to 28.9%. The company accounts for its ownership interest in PTL using the equity method of accounting. For the three months ended March 31, 2018, PTL generated $1.5 billion in operating revenue and net income of $55.0 million. The company recorded $16.0 million in earnings from this investment, representing an increase of 34.5%, during the three months ended March 31, 2018.
Dividend and Share Repurchases
On January 30, 2018, the company announced that its Board of Directors increased the dividend to its common stock shareholders to $0.34 per share, the twenty-seventh consecutive increase in the quarterly dividend.
During the three months ended March 31, 2018, the company repurchased 1,133,016 shares for $50.0 million, or an average of $44.13 per share. As of March 31, 2018, the Company had remaining share repurchase authorization of approximately $150.0 million.
Penske Automotive Group will host a conference call discussing financial results relating to the first quarter of 2018 on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, at 2:00 p.m.Eastern Daylight Time. To listen to the conference call, participants must dial (800) 230-1074 [International, please dial (612) 234-9959]. The call will also be simultaneously broadcast over the Internet through the Investor Relations section of the Penske Automotive Group website. Additionally, an investor presentation relating to the first quarter 2018 financial results has been posted to the company's website. To access the presentation or to listen to the company's webcast, please refer to www.penskeautomotive.com.
About Penske Automotive
Penske Automotive Group, Inc., (NYSE:PAG) headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is an international transportation services company that operates automotive and commercial truck dealerships principally in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, and distributes commercial vehicles, diesel engines, gas engines, power systems and related parts and services principally in Australia and New Zealand. PAG employs more than 26,000 people worldwide and is a member of the Fortune 500 and Russell 2000. For additional information, visit the company's website at www.penskeautomotive.com.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This release contains certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined under SEC rules, such as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA"). The company has reconciled these measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures in the release. The company believes that these widely accepted measures of operating profitability improve the transparency of the company's disclosures and provide a meaningful presentation of the company's results from its core business operations excluding the impact of items not related to the company's ongoing core business operations, and improve the period-to-period comparability of the company's results from its core business operations. These non-GAAP financial measures are not substitutes for GAAP financial results, and should only be considered in conjunction with the company's financial information that is presented in accordance with GAAP.
Caution Concerning Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release may involve forward-looking statements, including forward-looking statements regarding Penske Automotive Group, Inc.'s future sales and earnings potential. Actual results may vary materially because of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: economic conditions generally, conditions in the credit markets and changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates, adverse conditions affecting a particular manufacturer, including the adverse impact to the vehicle and parts supply chain due to natural disasters such as the recent hurricanes, recall or other disruptions that interrupt the supply of vehicles or parts to us, changes in consumer credit availability, the outcome of legal and administrative matters, and other factors over which management has limited control. These forward-looking statements should be evaluated together with additional information about Penske Automotive Group's business, markets, conditions and other uncertainties, which could affect Penske Automotive Group's future performance. These risks and uncertainties are addressed in Penske Automotive Group's Form 10‑K for the year ended December 31, 2017, and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). This press release speaks only as of its date, and Penske Automotive Group disclaims any duty to update the information herein.