Carvana posted an operating profit in the third quarter -- its first since becoming a public company in April 2017 -- and record gross profit per vehicle.
Top-line growth at the online used-vehicle retailer, like its peers and competitors, remained strong but below the pace of prior quarters, largely because of inventory shortages.
Revenue rose 41 percent in the third quarter to $1.54 billion. Retail vehicle sales grew 39 percent to 64,414.
Carvana reported a net loss of $17.7 million in the period, vs. a net loss of $92.2 million in the third quarter of 2019.
"As in Q2, inventory constraints impacted growth in retail units sold, and we are continuing to focus on growing inventory to meet demand," the company said in a letter to investors Thursday. "We ended the quarter with 26,897 website units and 11,900 available for immediate purchase, up from 5,914 at the end of Q2 but still only half as many as pre-pandemic levels."
The company's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $21.3 million, vs. a loss of $60.6 million in the third quarter of 2019.
Total gross profit jumped 90 percent to $261 million in the third quarter, and total gross profit per vehicle reached a record $4,056, compared with $2,963 in third quarter of 2019. Carvana said the strong profit per vehicle sold "was driven primarily by strength in Retail and Finance GPU."
Its retail gross profit per vehicle was $1,857 in the third quarter, compared with $1,305 in the same period last year. Carvana said the improvement was driven by more customer-sourced vehicles. It acquired about 73,400 vehicles from customers in the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 128 percent.
The company opened an inspection and reconditioning center near Columbus, Ohio, in the third quarter and has since added another such facility near Orlando, Fla., bringing its total to 10. It opened a new vehicle vending machine in Louisville, Ky., in the third quarter and added another in a Detroit suburb this month, giving it 26 such sites in the U.S.
Carvana said it now operates in 261 U.S. markets, covering 73.2 percent of the nation's population.
The company's shares rose 5.9 percent to $202 in early trading Friday.