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AutoNation Delivers Some Rare Good News

July 25, 2008

As my earlier blog suggested, there's not much good to talk about in automotive circles, these days. But occasionally, something positive slips through the whining and bitching. And in this case, the news comes from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, home to the automotive mega-retailer, AutoNation.

In a truly rare bit of good news, the retail giant brought in better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, which, in turn, earned it an 11 percent surge in its stock price - even as the overall market took a tumble.

Now, before you wonder how AutoNation could defy gravity, it didn't. Its net income dipped 34 percent, year-to-year, to $51.8 million, or 29 cents a share, from $79.3 million, or 38 cents. But when you consider what's happening in the new car market, overall, that's downright miraculous.

And according to CEO Mike Jackson, things look as good as one could expect for the rest of what is likely to be a miserable year for the industry, thanks to planned cost cuts of about $100 million.

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