NEW YORK -- Several U.S. auto dealership groups derive a significant portion of their revenue from imported vehicles, which could be affected if tariffs are imposed on auto imports.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that it would investigate whether vehicle and auto parts imports were threatening the health of the U.S. auto industry, including its ability to develop new technologies. The investigation could lead to tariffs similar to the ones imposed on steel and aluminum.
Shares of auto dealers, several of which have underperformed the S&P 500 since early February, were mostly higher on Thursday. Risks to dealers' performance may be partially priced in, said Ali Faghri, managing director of Guggenheim Securities in Los Angeles.
"But there's nothing that suggests (dealers) would be insulated," Faghri said, noting that higher auto prices resulting from tariffs could temper demand.
Auto dealers typically break out their vehicle sales into three categories: domestic, import and luxury. Most auto brands classified as luxury, such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW , are imported. The import category includes mid-range brands such as Toyota and Honda.
Here are revenue breakdowns by segment of five of the largest publicly traded U.S. auto dealers.
For the 2017 fiscal year, AutoNation Inc. had $12.2 billion in revenue from new vehicles. Import sales made up 34.2 percent of that total, and luxury sales accounted for 31.5 percent.
On Thursday, AutoNation shares fell 0.1 percent.
Lithia Motors Inc. reported revenue of $10.09 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, excluding corporate losses. Of that total, 43.9 percent came from its import segment and 17.9 percent came from its luxury segment.
Lithia Motors shares were up 0.7 percent on Thursday.
For the 2017 fiscal year, Sonic Automotive Inc. reported new vehicle revenue of $5.3 billion, of which 54.6 percent came from luxury sales and 34.2 percent came from import sales.
Sonic Automotive shares moved up 0.6 percent on Thursday.
Asbury Automotive Group Inc. had new vehicle revenue of $3.56 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, according to its SEC filing. Of that total, 54.6 percent came from luxury sales and 34.2 percent came from import sales.
On Thursday, shares of Asbury Automotive rose 2.4 percent.
Group 1 Automotive
Group 1 Automotive Inc.'s annual report breaks out the company's new vehicle revenue by automotive brand rather than by domestic, import and luxury segments.
Of its $6.15 billion in new vehicle revenue, 76.5 percent came from non-domestic brands. Toyota accounted for 21.1 percent of new vehicles Group 1 sold in 2017, according to the company's SEC filing.
Group 1 shares ticked up 1.0 percent on Thursday.