DETROIT -- Asbury Automotive Group Inc. posted weaker quarterly earnings on Thursday due to the summer hurricanes that hit Florida, where the car dealership company derives 43 percent of its operating profit.
Asbury said net earnings fell to $12.1 million, or 37 cents per share, from $16.2 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.
Earnings from continuing operations fell to $13 million, or 40 cents per share, from $16.7 million, or 51 cents per share.
Asbury had said this month that it expected third-quarter earnings of 39 cents to 41 cents per share from continuing operations. Analysts were expecting 40 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.
The company said it now expects 2004 earnings of $1.52 to $1.57 per share from continuing operations. In July, Asbury said it was "comfortable" with analysts' earnings expectations of between $1.70 and $1.75. Analysts expect profit of $1.55, according to Reuters Estimates.