DETROIT -- Car dealership group Sonic Automotive Inc. on Tuesday reported stronger second-quarter earnings, buoyed by higher new vehicle sales.
Earnings rose to $30.0 million, from $28.5 million in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding a one-time loss from some discontinued operations, Sonic earned $30.9 million in the quarter, within the range of Wall Street forecasts.
Sonic's strategy of slowing its pace of acquisitions to focus on cutting expenses dampened the impact of the "challenging sales environment" for new and used vehicles, Sonic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer O. Bruton Smith said in a statement.
Total revenues rose to $1.88 billion in the second quarter from $1.82 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Sonic said that it still expects earnings for 2004 to range between $2.65 per share and $2.80 per share, excluding one-time items. Analysts expect earnings of between $2.55 per share and $2.67 per share, with an average estimate of $2.62 per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sonic is third on the Automotive News ranking of top dealer groups in the United States in 2003 with 140,772 total vehicles sold.