July 8, 2011

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AutoNation, General Motors Company, Ford Motor, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor

CHICAGO, July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN), General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC).

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Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

AutoNation June Sales Up

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN), the largest automotive retailer in the U.S., is about twice the size of its nearest competitor. It recently announced its sales results for June 2011. The company's retail new vehicle unit sales for the month amounted to 16,564, an increase of 3% from 16,153 units reported in June last year.

Specifically speaking, retail new vehicle sales were 5,638 units for the Domestic segment, 7,564 units for the Import segment and 3,362 units for the Premium Luxury segment. Each of the segments showed improvements from last year's sales, the growth rates being 18%, 9% and 11% for Domestic, Import and Premium Luxury segments, respectively.

The Domestic segment of the company includes stores selling vehicles manufactured by General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and Chrysler whereas the Import segment comprises stores selling vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC).

During the last reported quarter, the company reported a net income of $70.3 million or 46 cents per share from continuing operations compared with $58.8 million or 34 cents in the year-ago period. Total revenues amounted to $3.31 billion, up 16.5% from $2.84 billion last year led by massive improvements in new and used retail vehicle sales.

New vehicles added $1.79 billion to total revenues, up 22.6% from last year's $1.46 billion. The retailer's new vehicle sales rose 22.8% to 55,710 units, transforming into revenues of $32,043 per vehicle, a marginal decrease from last year's $32,209. For the second quarter, the company noted a 1% drop in retail new vehicle unit sales versus the second quarter of last year.

The company expects new vehicle sales of 12 million units for full year 2011, given supply constraints from Japan.

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