DETROIT - Lithia Motors Inc. posted stronger quarterly earnings on Thursday, above Wall Street forecasts, boosted by stronger sales of new vehicles and cost-cuts.
Lithia said its second-quarter earnings rose to $10.8 million, or 57 cents per share, up from $8.5 million, or 46 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding a one-time gain from discontinued operations of $75,000, or 1 cent per share, Lithia earned $10.8 million, or 56 cents per share.
Wall Street had expected Lithia to earn between 51 cents and 54 cents per share, with an average estimate of 53 cents, according to a survey of three analysts by Reuters Estimates.
Lithia raised its earnings outlook for 2004 to a range of $2.11 to $2.16 per share. In April, Lithia said it expected 2004 earnings of $2.06 to $2.14 per share.
Wall Street estimates for 2004 earnings ranged between $2.14 to $2.19 per share, with an average estimate of $2.17, according to Reuters Estimates.
For the third quarter, Lithia said it expects to earn between 68 cents and 70 cents per share. Analyst estimates ranged between 69 cents and 75 cents per share, with an average of 72 cents per share.
Total sales in the second quarter rose to $682.3 million, up from $640.3 million in the year-ago quarter.