DETROIT -- Asbury Automotive Group Inc. on Thursday posted higher third-quarter earnings on strong performances from its repair business and its finance and insurance unit.
Stamford, Connecticut-based Asbury said its earnings rose to $16.2 million from earnings of $14.6 million in the year-ago third quarter.
Results included a loss from discontinued operations of $922,000, or 3 cents per share, in the 2003 third quarter.
Revenue rose to $1.29 billion from $1.20 billion previously.
New vehicle sales rose 9.4 percent, or 4.1 percent for dealerships open at least a year, reflecting significantly higher selling prices. Sales growth was stronger in the collision and repair business and in finance and insurance.
Asbury said that it expects earnings from continuing operations for 2003 of around $1.55 per share, based on expectations of a difficult sales environment, with new and used vehicle sales on a same-store basis down in the mid- to upper-single digit range.
That compares with analysts' estimates on average of $1.56 per share, according to Reuters Research.