Carvana's rapid growth at the expense of profits continued in the third quarter, though its gross profit per unit is improving.
The online used-vehicle retailer's revenue in the period more than doubled to $1.095 billion, marking the 23rd-straight quarter of triple-digit top-line growth. Retail unit sales grew 83 percent to 46,413. Carvana said it expects to sell 174,000 to 176,000 retail units this year, an increase of 85 percent to 87 percent over 2018. It also projects 2019 revenue of $3.85 billion to $3.95 billion, which would be an increase of 97 percent to 102 percent from 2018.
Carvana's net loss widened by 43 percent to $92.2 million in the third quarter, while gross profit jumped 140 percent to $137.5 million. The company grew its gross profit per unit by $694 to $2,996.
Total vehicles acquired from customers jumped 249 percent year over year. That was an acceleration from a 188 percent annual growth rate in the second quarter.
While Carvana has yet to report a profit, it has the stated goal of selling more than 2 million vehicles per year and becoming the largest and most profitable automotive retailer in the U.S.
In the meantime, it's been in expansion mode. It opened in nine new markets during the quarter, bringing the total to 146 at the end of the period. It also launched four new vehicle vending machines, giving it 22 at quarter end.
Carvana's shares closed Wednesday's trading down nearly 3 percent to $79.08.