Group 1 Automotive Inc., citing an improvement in earnings and a rebound in U.S. auto sales, said today it would reinstate its quarterly cash dividend.
The company, the nation's fourth largest automotive retailer, said the cash dividend of 10 cents a share will be paid on Dec. 15, 2010, to stockholders of record on Dec. 1, 2010.
The company suspended dividend payouts in February 2009, citing the uncertain economic climate. It last paid a dividend of 5 cents a share on Dec. 15, 2008.
“We are pleased to be able to reward our shareholders by reinstating a dividend,” Group 1 CEO Earl J. Hesterberg said in a statement. “We now feel that the economy is gaining strength and, based on Group 1's operational results over the last several quarters, we are confident about the continuing recovery of the automotive retailing industry.”
After a net loss of $1.95 million in the fourth quarter of 2009, the automotive retailer has posted profits for three consecutive quarters. During the third quarter, Group 1 earned $18.99 million on revenues of $1.5 billion.
Group 1 owns and operates 101 automotive dealerships, 137 franchises, and 25 collision service centers in the United States and the United Kingdom.