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YTD Returns 95 %: This US Automotive Retailer is Expanding

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“Our revenue has increased at a compounded annual growth rate of 24% and earnings have increased at a compounded rate of 33% since 2010.” said Bryan DeBoer, President and CEO Lithia Motors, Inc.

A $3.5 Billion market cap company, Lithia Motors (NYSE: LAD) reported its highest quarterly revenue in the company’s history. The Lithia Motors stock closed at a lifetime high levels of 152.85, up from 17.29% from previous days closing and up 95% YTD.

Overview of Q3 FY2019
Lithia Motors reported the highest Q3 adjusted EPS of $3.39 (+20% YoY). The company managed to provide these strong numbers on the back of consolidated record revenues. LAD managed to provide positive same-store revenue growth in all business lines. Total revenue and gross profit grew by 8% and 9% respectively.

Out of six reported distinct business lines, revenue mix majorly consisted of New Vehicle Sales (54.8%), Used Vehicle Sales (27.5%), and Service, Body and Parts (10.2%).

Strong Operational Performance
The company has managed to continue its inorganic growth strategy. For the year, LAD has acquired seven stores so far and anticipated revenues of over $475 Mn. Lithia Motors remains vocal on its capital allocation priorities. LAD has provided Target %s Uses of Capital (and Actual 5-year average %) – 65% Acquisitions (56%); 25% Investment and Modernization (19%); 5% Share Repurchases (19%); 5% Dividends (6%).

LAD’s announced $0.30 per share quarterly dividend is having a record date on 8 Nov 2019.

Cause of Concerns
For Lithia Motors, the aggressive growth plans have resulted in very high debt levels. For Q3 FY2019, the Net Debt-to-Ebitda remains at 2.0x which is at the lower end of the LAD’s 2.0x-3.0x Target Range levels. LAD has kept aside the 2,600 specific acquisition targets. This means any further acquisition will worsen the Net Debt-to-Ebitda ratio translating into the elevated riskiness of the business. This situation may get even worse with the possible expected cyclical downturn in the automotive industry.

The rapid change in the automotive industry, including increases in ride-sharing services, advances in electric vehicle production and driverless technology, poses a threat to the LAD’s overall operations.

Conclusion
Lithia Motors remains fundamentally a strong growth company with decent operational performance. The probable elevated debt levels risks can be managed if the company creates strong operational cash flows and pay off its existing debt; plus cautiously carrying the acquisition activities with the gauging the dynamics and trend of the US automotive sector.

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BenzingaEditorial

Trucks to the Rescue of Ford and Fiat Chrysler

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GMC News Earnings

Ford (NYSE: F) and Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) reported strong profits as demand rebounded. Not only did Ford crush Wall Street expectations, but Fiat Chrysler also had record earnings.

Ford

The top and bottom beats were based on a stronger-than-expected demand during the pandemic. A long restricting has started paying off with a big jump in profit in the third quarter. Adjusted EPS were 65 cents, exceeding the expected 19 cents with automotive revenue of $34.71 billion also topping the expected $33.51 billion.

During the quarter that ended in September, the Detroit automaker earned $2.4 billion. This is an increase from $425 million for the same period a year earlier. Although it lost money overseas, Ford’s North American operations and its division that offers credit did well.

North America that made $3.18 billion on revenue of $25.3 billion led the way towards profits. The strong figures were a direct result of a stronger-than-expected demand and a rich sales mix of popular Ford trucks and SUVs, along with commercial vehicles. Ford’s new-vehicle sales were down just 5% in the third quarter as it increased the share of more-profitable trucks, vans and SUVs. This trend resulted in an increased profitability per vehicle sold.

However, Ford expects to break even or show a loss of up to $500 million in the fourth quarter before interest expenses and taxes are taken into account due to costs related to new or redesigned vehicle launches. Ford expects its figures to be hurt by higher costs and lower production due to introducing a fully redesigned F-150 pickup truck, a new Bronco and the Mustang Mach-E electric sport utility vehicle. The redesigned F-150, Mach-E and Bronco Sport are all due to reach dealer lots later this year.

Ford revised its previous guidance that had predicted an annual loss, now expecting positive full-year adjusted earnings are expected. Overall, the Blue Oval plans to invest more than $11 billion on developing EVs by 2022.

It remains unknown when Ford expects to reinstate its prized dividend which it suspended in March. Overall, despite a 15% increase in October, shares remain down by 17% this year.

Fiat Chrysler

On Wednesday, Fiat Chrysler said it earned an overall net profit of $1.414 billion , marking an increase of 773% compared to last year’s loss. Revenues in the third quarter, however, did fall 6% to $30.298 billion, although sales of profitable trucks and sport utility vehicles recovered after a sharp drop in the spring. Ram and Jeep retail sales in North America fueled Fiat Chrysler to a record $2.671 billion in pre-tax earnings and 8.8% margin in the quarter that ended in September. Ram pickup retail sales were up 15% for the quarter, and the profit-heavy truck segment in total surpassed sales of the Chevrolet Silverado for the first time this year. In the third quarter, FCA’s North America’s pre-tax earnings rose 26% year-over-year to a record $2.9 billion and 13.8% margin.

But FCA also disclosed this week it could face costs of up to $840 million to resolve a Justice Department investigation into excess diesel emissions and as a result of higher fuel economy penalties.

The Italian-American company was just joined by Honda (NYSE: HMC) in pooling its fleet with Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) to comply with emissions standards for passenger cars in Europe this year.

The results come as the European Union’s executive branch is expected to approve the Italian American automaker’s 50-50 Stellantis merger with Peugeot (OTC: PUGOY) and Citroën maker, PSA Groupe, with fourteen of 22 jurisdictions already having given their blessing. The two ancient rivals expect the merger that is expected to close during the first quarter of 2021 to bring savings of $6 billion on a yearly basis, while providing a scale for electrification.

FCA showed a strong financial position, ending the third quarter with $30 billion in cash, more than $45 billion in liquidity, and having repaid the $15 billion in credit it drew down during the first quarter.

Considering that FCA counts on only one popular pickup as opposed to its Detroit 3 counterparts, it’s quite the impressive that just at the start of last year, pickups made up less than a quarter of its vehicle sales, whereas now they make up more than a third. The ongoing success of Ram is expected to continue to add to the company’s bottom line as CEO Mike Manley confirmed plans for a battery-electric Ram only a week after General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) debuted its electric GMC Hummer truck. The automaker plans to capitalize further on its trucks as it is also scheduled to unveil the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and a new three-row Jeep SUV.

Outlook

It seems that the third quarter allowed automakers to shake off the pandemic-induced losses from plant and dealership closures as U.S. automakers are reporting a strong financial performance. Record-high transaction prices were fueled by a perfect combination of an unexpectedly strong recovery of demand and low inventories due to spring’s shutdowns. Still, the companies are staying conservative in their outlook as COVID-19 cases are increasing in the United States and Europe, with Germany and France having already reinstated a second lockdown. General Motors has some large shoes to fill when it reveals its financial results on November 5th.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAMNewswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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BenzingaEditorial

This Week in a Nutshell – Adobe and FedEx Take Center Stage

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Emerging Companies

After the storm and the tech meltdown, along with increasing number of COVID-19 infections, this was a quiet week with a few nice surprises. The stars were Adobe Inc (NASDAQ: ADBE) and FedEx (NYSE: FDX).

FedEx

Analysts were beyond impressed when FedEx again managed to crush expectations as the shipping giant is getting ready for a holiday ‘shipathon’ that is just around the corner. FedEx delivered very strong results during the quarter that ended on August 31 with revenue increasing from $17 billion in the same quarter last year to $19.3 billion. The increased demand found its way to the bottom line with net income rising 60% as it amounted to $1.28 billion.

Adobe

Adobe continued its winning streak by setting new revenue records. It delivered the best fiscal third-quarter results in the company’s history, exceeded expectations and maintained its five-year streak of year-over-year quarterly increases in revenue. Its creative portfolio of offering is set to thrive beyond this unprecedented year.

Lennar Corporation

The US real estate company Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) topped analyst estimates both for revenue and earnings. It attributed higher demand to record-low mortgage rates as it sold 13,842 houses in its latest quarter. The market has recovered since the US government eased COVID-restrictions as U.S. homebuilding posted a record growth since 2016 in July.

Francesca’s Holding Corporation

Meanwhile, Francesca’s Holdings Corp.’s (NASDAQ: FRAN) had a rough day when it posted its fiscal second-quarter results. Stock plunged 8.75% on September 16th, reducing its market cap to $10.92 million as the pandemic has been rough on retail boutiques the group operates, focusing on the fashion apparel, jewellery and accessories for women.

Apogee Enterprises

Apogee Enterprises (NASDAQ:APOG), a leading provider of architectural glass, framing systems, and installation services, has been disrupted by the pandemic but it’s slowly rebounding. Its stock fell 0.4% in pre-market trading after the company reported Q2 results but earnings and revenue did manage to beat estimates. However, due to not knowing how severe nor how long will the downturn be, the company did not provide any outlook.

Cantel Medical

Meanwhile, Cantel Medical (NYSE:CMD) also topped forecasts. The Little Falls, N.J.-based infection prevention products and services company posted losses of $2.3 million from reported revenue of $233.4 million with a 2.5% year over year drop. The decline in organic revenue was greatly offset by the impact of acquisitions. Although medical revenue decreased 25%, dental revenue increased 59%. The company expects a full recovery, although the timing also remains uncertain.

Auris Medical Holding

Auris Medical Holding (NASDAQ:EARS) reminded us that there is more to the world than just battling COVID as this clinical-stage company is dedicated to developing therapeutics that address important unmet medical needs in neurology and central nervous system disorders. The company reached major milestones in its two clinical trials. But, it is also developing a drug-free nasal spray for protection against airborne pathogens and allergens that can be of great use against the world’s current #1 enemy.

Acutus Medical

Acutus Medical (NASDAQ:AFIB) reported revenue of $1.1 million in the second quarter of 2020 that ended on June 30th. This figure marks a 54% increase compared to the same quarter last year. Back in August, the arrhythmia management company completed an initial public offering and gained $163.3 million in net proceeds. Despite headwinds brought on by the pandemic, the company managed to execute its commercial launch. Although gross margin was negative at 135%, it greatly improved from last year’s quarter when it stood at 232%. Therefore, economies of scale and greater efficiency in labor was achieved.

IsoRay Inc

IsoRay, Inc. (AMEX:ISR) is another innovative medical technology company that announced its revenues for the fourth quarter rose 18% to $2.28 million. The company’s improved results confirm the company’s strong positioning in the prostate brachytherapy market. Its future efforts will aim to expand the therapeutic benefits of Cesium-131 as a treatment option for cancers throughout the body.

Outlook

Provided that the second lockdown can be avoided, it is possible that the worst is behind us. However, no one can tell with certainty as we are still not near to winning the battle against COVID-19. This week’s results do show signs of an economic rebound but we are not out of the woods yet.

This article is not a press release and is contributed by a verified independent journalist for IAM Newswire. It should not be construed as investment advice at any time please read the full disclosure . IAM Newswire does not hold any position in the mentioned companies. Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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Continues progress in the Automotive Market

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Ford News

Franchise Holdings International Inc., (OTC: FNHI), Worksport Ltd.’s parent company, is expecting a good year ahead, since its current, already beyond progressive business activities will be additionally magnified due to cooperation with Amazon.com  Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN). FNHI announced on February 12th that it is adding a new distribution channel for its tonneau covers for light trucks by accessing Amazon’s wide marketplace. Worksport and FNHI CEO, Steve Rossi, said they are incredibly proud and excited about the agreement, which is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

Amazon.com, a $282 billion revenue company, will additionally open up the U.S. market for Worksport, which is offering innovative, high quality, functional, and aggressively priced tonneau/truck bed covers for light trucks such as Ford Motors’ (NYSE:F) F150, Sierra, Chevrolet’s (NYSE:GM) Silverado and Fiat Chrysler’s (NYSE:FCAU) RAM.

The potential of light trucks

In 2019 alone, light vehicles (cars and light trucks) sales came to approximately 17 million units, out of which 12.2 million were light trucks. Within top five best selling light trucks, Toyota Motor Company’s Tacoma (NYSE:TM) made it in 4th place, while the other four models were American made. The Ford F-Series was the best-selling light truck in the US, with almost 900 thousand units. Second place belongs to Chrysler Ram Pickup, and third place to Chevrolet Silverado.

Ford Motor Company holds the pickup truck throne

When choosing a pick-up truck, Ford F-Series is impossible to exclude due to years and years of being one of best selling light trucks. Most popular variant of the Ford F-Series (full-size pickup trucks) is the F-150. 14th generation of model F-150 is expected to be released in 2020.

Ford Motor Company is following the current ruling (on an interim basis) by U.S. trade panel, in favor of Korean electric vehicle (EV) battery maker LG Chem, which accused its rival SK Innovation of misappropriating trade secrets. SK Innovation is currently building a $1.7 billion battery factory in Georgia, whose products are supposed to serve Volkswagen (OTC:VWAGY)’s EV factory. SK Innovations is also considering to build another factory in Georgia, to supply Ford’s electric light trucks. The panel ruling may endanger SK Innovation’s import of materials and components needed as supply for U.S. factories. And FNHI’s solar patented technology can only further advance any company in the EV playground.

Amazon

Amazon’s expected revenue of $282 billion in 2019 came from 608 million packages (year average), which is equivalent to more than 1.6 million packages a day. This expected result is an increase comparing to 2018, when Amazon achieved $233 billion in revenues and net income of $10.1 billion. That is an expected increase of revenues of approx. 21%. And FNHI surely rejoices in the fact that Amazon is doing better than expected while its one-day deliveries continue to drive up sales.

Positive effects 

Steve Rossi believes selling products on Amazon will help Worksport’s revenue growth and also brand recognition. Positive effects are expected in the coming period of 12 to 24 months. Rossi also stated that Worksport will have the right to set the Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) and monitor the price once the agreement is signed. Worksport is already in process of stocking materially different cover models, which will be unique to Amazon, and therefore keeping the current dealers and distributors covered. This way, Worksport will protect both its present and new distribution channels. This will be another leap forward for Worksport, continuing the good trend from 2019, when three new U.S. patents were granted, which formed a great base for future developments. The expansion of Worksport’s, that is FNHI’s, intellectual properties portfolio, will enable the Company to bring more than just sun-powered light-truck tonneau covers, making it indeed a rare gem in the light truck industry.

This article is contributed by IAMNewswire.com. It was written by an independently verified journalist and is not a press release. It should not be construed as investment advice.

Press Releases – If you are looking for full Press release distribution contact: press@iamnewswire.com

Contributors – IAM Newswire accepts pitches. If you’re interested in becoming an IAM journalist contact: contributors@iamnewswire.com

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