Hail damage dents Autonation first-quarter profits as sales plateau

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[April 22, 2016]  By Joseph White

(Reuters) - AutoNation Inc, the largest U.S. car dealership chain, said first quarter income from continuing operations fell to 90 cents a share from 97 cents a share a year ago, in part because of expenses related to extensive hail damage to cars.

AutoNation said first quarter results were hit by costs of $6.8 million, or six cents a share, for hail damage to vehicles, and another $3.2 million, or 3 cents a share, related to stock compensation costs shifted into the quarter.

Analysts had expected the company to report net income from continuing operations of 93 cents a share for the quarter, according to ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S. The company reported $5.1 billion in revenue for the January to March period, short of analysts' consensus forecasts of $5.29 billion.

AutoNation Chief Executive Mike Jackson said the U.S. auto industry is in a "plateau environment," and said retail car and light truck sales in the quarter were flat. He reiterated a forecast that total U.S. car and light truck sales will be above 17 million for the year.

(Bengaluru Newsroom)

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