Car Dealer Penske Automotive Accelerates Buybacks as Profits Soar

Penske Automotive

Group Inc. is accelerating share buybacks following the automobile-dealership chain documented steeply greater profits as the industrywide vehicle shortage proceeds to bolster prices.

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based mostly Penske has repurchased 1.9 million shares this year by means of April 26, 1.2 million of them in the 1st quarter. That total was up from 800,000 shares bought in the fourth quarter. Final 12 months, the firm obtained 3.3 million shares total.

Entirely, the organization invested $294 million on buybacks in 2021, followed by $184 million so significantly this yr by April 26. Penske’s share price tag on Friday shut at $104.82, about flat from the beginning of the 12 months.

Shelley Hulgrave, main money officer of Penske Automotive Group


Jill Scapelliti

The corporation expects to carry on utilizing buybacks to allocate money, assuming marketplace circumstances keep steady and it gets approval from the board, explained

Shelley Hulgrave,

Penske’s main monetary officer. U.S. car dealership acquisitions—one of the company’s most well-liked ways to set cash to work—have turn into far more high-priced in excess of the past yr as their gains have climbed, Ms. Hulgrave explained.

“We assume it is a good use of dollars in comparison to the substantial valuations of acquisition possibilities,” she claimed, referring to share repurchases.

Previous week, Penske said it had $46.3 million left to spend under its current buyback authorization. The company’s board has been supportive of buybacks, Ms. Hulgrave said.

Businesses have been unveiling plans to get back again shares at a report speed this calendar year, getting benefit of current industry volatility next Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and uncertainty on interest-level hikes from the Federal Reserve.

Firms on the S&P 500 have poured much more than $5.3 trillion into repurchasing their very own shares because 2010. WSJ points out how stock buybacks perform, and why there is certainly debate over no matter if or not they’re good for the financial system.

Profit at Penske additional than doubled all through the initially quarter from a 12 months earlier, to $367.9 million. Earnings jumped 21%, to about $7 billion. Hard cash and equivalents on the equilibrium sheet enhanced to $170.3 million, up from $100.7 million at the conclusion of 2021.

The enterprise, as perfectly as other dealership chains, are benefiting from a mix of variables, including a scarcity of autos because of to chip-offer problems, continual shopper need and superior sticker rates. Other auto retailers, including

Lithia Motors Inc.,

AutoNation Inc.,


Asbury Automotive Team Inc.,

also reported much better very first-quarter earnings.

“It’s just a excellent time to be an vehicle seller,” said

Ali Faghri,

an analyst with financial investment agency Guggenheim Securities. Other dealership chains are also utilizing their supplemental hard cash for buybacks and acquisitions, he added.

At Penske, gross income for every vehicle for new cars and trucks improved 68% from a year earlier, to $6,840, although the identical metric for utilized autos rose 26%, to $2,284.

In addition to retail auto income, Penske also sells industrial vans and operates a motor vehicle distribution small business. As of March 31, the company’s retail automobile company, which incorporates providers and sections, accounted for 84% of income, although its truck dealership division accounted for 12%, in accordance to Ms. Hulgrave. Its distribution business enterprise produced up the relaxation, she reported. The company’s dealerships are located in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan.

When the organization is however interested in acquisitions, it is remaining far more selective than it has been in the previous supplied the substantial valuations throughout the marketplace, Ms. Hulgrave explained.

In April, Penske acquired 3 BMW Mini dealerships and a assistance heart in the U.K., as effectively as a BMW Mini dealership and support center based in Escondido, Calif. In February, it purchased Staff Truck Centres, a Canadian professional truck company.

Penske didn’t disclose a obtain rate for any of the acquisitions. The promotions were being funded with dollars stream from operations, Ms. Hulgrave said.

Produce to Kristin Broughton at [email protected]

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