Market Overview

Lithia Reports Record First Quarter 2018 Results, Increases Revenue 19%

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Increases Dividend to $0.29 Per Share for First Quarter

Lithia Motors, Inc. (NYSE:LAD) today reported the highest first quarter
revenue and earnings per share in company history and the 30th
consecutive quarter of record results.

First quarter 2018 net income per diluted share was $2.07, a 3% increase
over $2.01 per diluted share reported in the first quarter of 2017, and
a 16% increase compared to adjusted net income of $1.78 per diluted
share in the same period of 2017. First quarter 2018 net income was $52
million, a 3% increase over $51 million reported in the first quarter of
2017, and a 16% increase compared to adjusted net income of $45 million
for the same period of 2017.

The 2018 first quarter results contained no adjustments. As shown in the
attached non-GAAP reconciliation tables, the 2017 first quarter adjusted
results exclude a $0.23 non-core benefit related to legal settlements
with two Original Equipment Manufacturers.

First quarter 2018 revenue increased 19% to $2.7 billion from $2.2
billion in the first quarter of 2017.

First Quarter-over-Quarter Operating Highlights:

  • Total same store sales were flat
  • New vehicle same store sales decreased 2%
  • Used vehicle retail same store sales increased 5%
  • Same store F&I per unit was $1,380
  • Service, body and parts same store sales increased 3%
  • SG&A expense as a percentage of gross profit was 72.9%
  • Online traffic up 24% over prior year
  • 81% of US population within 500 miles of our delivery and service
    centers

"Vehicle sales improved sequentially each month of the quarter," said
Bryan DeBoer, President and CEO. "January and February were softer than
expected and we experienced more severe weather than typical in the
Northeast throughout the quarter. Despite the slower start, we finished
strong with a record March, generating over 70% of our earnings. We
expect this momentum to continue throughout 2018 and beyond. While fixed
operations remains strong, sales shortfalls in January and February
created an urgent call to action for our leaders to more aggressively
pursue the over $200 million in unrealized earnings potential available
to us."

Corporate Development

During the first quarter, we added Honda and Acura points in Buffalo,
New York; the Day Group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and six locations
from the Prestige Family of Fine Cars in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Additionally, we divested a Mazda Volvo location in Fresno, California.
In April 2018, we added Broadway Ford in Idaho Falls, Idaho and Buhler
Ford in Eatontown, New Jersey and divested a Mitsubishi franchise in
Fresno, California. We estimate our new locations will add a net $1.4
billion in annualized revenues.

"We continue to expand and optimize our network of local customer
service and delivery centers," said DeBoer. "With two-thirds of the year
remaining, we have nearly eclipsed the amount of revenue acquired in
2017. We see significant opportunities in the market that are more
attractively priced than in the recent past."

Balance Sheet Update

We ended the first quarter with $69 million in cash and $65 million in
availability under our credit facility. Additionally, approximately $347
million of our operating real estate is currently unfinanced, which we
estimate could provide $260 million in capital, for total potential
liquidity of $394 million.

Dividend Payment and Share Repurchases

Our Board of Directors has approved a 7% increase in our dividend to
$0.29 per share related to first quarter 2018 financial results. We
expect to pay the dividend on May 25, 2018 to shareholders of record on
May 11, 2018.

Year to date, we have repurchased 90,000 shares at a weighted average
price of $98.02 per share. Under our existing $250 million share
repurchase authorization, approximately $154 million remains available.

Earnings Outlook

For 2018, we reaffirm our outlook of full year revenues of $12.0 to
$12.5 billion and earnings per share of $10.60. Actual results may be
affected by items described under Forward-Looking Statements below.

First Quarter Earnings Conference Call and Updated Presentation

The first quarter conference call may be accessed at 11:00 a.m. ET today
by telephone at 877-407-8029. An updated presentation highlighting the
first quarter results has been added to our investor relations website.
To listen live on our website or for replay, visit www.lithiainvestorrelations.com
and click on webcasts.

About Lithia

Lithia Motors, Inc. is one of the largest automotive retailers in the
United States and is among the fastest growing companies in the Fortune
500 (#318-2017) with 186 stores representing 28 brands in 18 states. We
offer vehicles online and through our nationwide retail network. Our
"Growth Powered by People" strategy drives us to innovate and
continuously improve the customer experience.

Sites

www.lithiamotors.com
www.lithiainvestorrelations.com
www.lithiacareers.com

Lithia Motors on Facebook
www.facebook.com/LithiaMotors

Lithia Motors on Twitter
http://twitter.com/lithiamotors

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of the "Safe-Harbor" provisions of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements include
statements regarding our goals, plans, projections and guidance
regarding our financial position, results of operations, market
position, pending and potential future acquisitions and business
strategy, and often contain words such as "project," "outlook,"
"expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "estimate," "may,"
"seek," "would," "should," "likely," "goal," "strategy," "future,"
"maintain," "continue," "remain," "target" or "will" and similar
references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements in
this press release include, among others, statements regarding:

  • Expected operating results, such as improved store efficiency and
    performance; achieving a 2018 full year earnings target of $10.60 per
    diluted share and all projections set forth under the headings
    "Earnings Outlook";
  • Our ability to improve store performance;
  • Anticipated acquisition opportunities and additions of dealership
    locations to our portfolio in the future, and our ability to improve
    earnings and achieve returns on investments;
  • Anticipated revenues from acquired and open point stores; and
  • Anticipated availability of liquidity from our credit facility and
    unfinanced operating real estate.

By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and
uncertainties because they relate to events that depend on circumstances
that may or may not occur in the future. Forward-looking statements are
not guarantees of future performance, and our actual results of
operations, financial condition and liquidity and development of the
industry in which we operate may differ materially from those made in or
suggested by the forward-looking statements in this press release. The
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from estimated or projected results include, without
limitation, future economic and financial conditions (both nationally
and locally), changes in customer demand, our relationship with, and the
financial and operational stability of, vehicle manufacturers and other
suppliers, risks associated with our indebtedness (including available
borrowing capacity, compliance with financial covenants and ability to
refinance or repay indebtedness on favorable terms), acts of God or
other incidents which may adversely impact our operations and financial
performance, government regulations, legislation and others set forth
throughout "Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of
Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and in "Part I, Item 1A.
Risk Factors" of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, and from
time to time in our other filings with the SEC. We urge you to carefully
consider this information and not place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements. We undertake no duty to update our
forward-looking statements, including our earnings outlook, which are
made as of the date of this release.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release and the attached financial tables contain non-GAAP
financial measures such as adjusted net income and diluted earnings per
share, adjusted SG&A as a percentage of revenue and gross profit,
adjusted operating margin, adjusted operating profit as a percentage of
gross profit, adjusted pre-tax margin, EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA,
leveraged cash flow and adjusted total debt. Non-GAAP measures do not
have definitions under GAAP and may be defined differently by and not
comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies. As a
result, we review any non-GAAP financial measures in connection with a
review of the most directly comparable measures calculated in accordance
with GAAP. We caution you not to place undue reliance on such non-GAAP
measures, but also to consider them with the most directly comparable
GAAP measures. We present cash flows from operations in the attached
tables, adjusted to include the change in non-trade floor plan debt to
improve the visibility of cash flows related to vehicle financing. As
required by SEC rules, we have reconciled these measures to the most
directly comparable GAAP measures in the attachments to this release. We
believe the non-GAAP financial measures we present improve the
transparency of our disclosures; provide a meaningful presentation of
our results from core business operations, because they exclude items
not related to core business operations and other non-cash items; and
improve the period-to-period comparability of our results from core
business operations. These presentations should not be considered
an alternative to GAAP measures.

Lithia Motors, Inc.

       

Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited)

(In thousands except per share data)

 

 

Three months ended
March 31,

%
Increase
2018   2017 (Decrease)
Revenues:
New vehicle retail $ 1,454,725 $ 1,210,304 20.2 %
Used vehicle retail 715,574 602,223 18.8
Used vehicle wholesale 75,955 71,503 6.2
Finance and insurance 106,505 86,777 22.7
Service, body and parts 285,697 232,574 22.8
Fleet and other 21,223   32,720   (35.1 )
Total revenues 2,659,679 2,236,101 18.9 %
Cost of sales:
New vehicle retail 1,367,778 1,140,186 20.0
Used vehicle retail 641,963 533,440 20.3
Used vehicle wholesale 75,029 69,986 7.2
Service, body and parts 147,289 119,380 23.4
Fleet and other 19,509   31,457   (38.0 )
Total cost of sales 2,251,568   1,894,449   18.9  
Gross profit 408,111 341,652 19.5 %
SG&A expense 297,494 242,772 22.5
Depreciation and amortization 16,854   12,739   32.3  
Income from operations 93,763 86,141 8.8 %
Floor plan interest expense (13,534 ) (8,052 ) 68.1
Other interest expense (11,806 ) (6,671 ) 77.0
Other income (expense), net 1,374   9,845   NM  
Income before income taxes 69,797 81,263 (14.1

) %

Income tax expense (17,736 ) (30,536 ) (41.9 )
Income tax rate 25.4 % 37.6 %    
Net income $ 52,061   $ 50,727   2.6 %
Diluted net income per share:
Net income per share $ 2.07 $ 2.01 3.0 %
Diluted shares outstanding 25,158 25,250 (0.4

) %

NM - not meaningful

Lithia Motors, Inc.

       

Key Performance Metrics (Unaudited)

 

Three months ended
March 31,

%
Increase
2018   2017 (Decrease)

Gross margin

New vehicle retail 6.0 % 5.8 % 20 bps
Used vehicle retail 10.3 11.4 (110 )

Finance and insurance

100.0 100.0
Service, body and parts 48.4 48.7 (30 )
Gross profit margin 15.3 15.3
 

Unit sales

New vehicle retail 41,497 35,616 16.5 %
Used vehicle retail 36,114 30,783 17.3
Total retail units sold 77,611 66,399 16.9
 

Average selling price

New vehicle retail $ 35,056 $ 33,982 3.2 %
Used vehicle retail 19,814 19,563 1.3
 

Average gross profit per unit

New vehicle retail $ 2,095 $ 1,969 6.4 %
Used vehicle retail 2,038 2,234 (8.8 )
Finance and insurance 1,372 1,307 5.0
Total vehicle(1) 3,453 3,422 0.9
 

Revenue mix

New vehicle retail 54.7 % 54.1 %
Used vehicle retail 26.9 26.9
Used vehicle wholesale 2.9 3.2
Finance and insurance, net 4.0 3.9
Service, body and parts 10.7 10.4
Fleet and other 0.8 1.5
 
        Adjusted   As reported

Three months ended
March 31,

Three months ended
March 31,

Other metrics

2018   2017 2018   2017

SG&A as a % of revenue

11.2 % 10.9 % 11.2 % 10.9 %

SG&A as a % of gross profit

72.9 71.1 72.9 71.1

Operating profit as a % of revenue

3.5 3.9 3.5 3.9

Operating profit as a % of gross profit

23.0 25.2 23.0 25.2

Pretax margin

2.6 3.2 2.6 3.6

Net profit margin

2.0 2.0 2.0 2.3
(1)   Includes the sales and gross profit related to new, used retail,
used wholesale and finance and insurance and unit sales for new and
used retail
       

Lithia Motors, Inc.

Same Store Operating Highlights (Unaudited)

 

Three months ended
March 31,

%
Increase
2018   2017 (Decrease)

Revenues

New vehicle retail $ 1,183,204 $ 1,201,912 (1.6 ) %
Used vehicle retail 622,389 595,041 4.6
Finance and insurance 90,509 86,130 5.1
Service, body and parts 235,952 229,562 2.8
Total revenues 2,212,725 2,216,262 (0.2 )
 

Gross profit

New vehicle retail $ 68,102 $ 69,091 (1.4 ) %
Used vehicle retail 65,878 68,260 (3.5 )
Finance and insurance 90,509 86,130 5.1
Service, body and parts 116,078 111,724 3.9
Total gross profit 342,759 337,953 1.4
 

Gross margin

New vehicle retail 5.8 % 5.7 % 10 bps
Used vehicle retail 10.6 11.5 (90 )
Finance and insurance 100.0 100.0
Service, body and parts 49.2 48.7 50
Gross profit margin 15.5 15.2 30
 

Unit sales

New vehicle retail 33,886 35,415 (4.3 ) %
Used vehicle retail 31,677 30,404 4.2
 

Average selling price

New vehicle retail $ 34,917 $ 33,938 2.9 %
Used vehicle retail 19,648 19,571 0.4
 

Average gross profit per unit

New vehicle retail $ 2,010 $ 1,951 3.0 %
Used vehicle retail 2,080 2,245 (7.3 )
Finance and insurance 1,380 1,309 5.4
Total vehicle(1) 3,433 3,418 0.4
(1)   Includes the sales and gross profit related to new, used retail,
used wholesale and finance and insurance and unit sales for new and
used retail
     

Lithia Motors, Inc.

Other Highlights (Unaudited)

 
As of
March 31,   December 31,   March 31,
2018 2017 2017

Days Supply(1)

New vehicle inventory 76 69 76
Used vehicle inventory 57 67 50
(1)   Days supply calculated based on current inventory levels, excluding
in-transit vehicles, and a 30-day historical cost of sales level.
       

Financial covenants

Requirement As of March 31, 2018
Current ratio Not less than 1.10 to 1 1.21 to 1
Fixed charge coverage ratio Not less than 1.20 to 1 2.41 to 1
Leverage ratio Not more than 5.00 to 1 3.58 to 1
       

Lithia Motors, Inc.

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)

(In thousands)

 
March 31, 2018 December 31, 2017
Cash and cash equivalents $ 68,985 $ 57,253
Trade receivables, net 479,638 521,938
Inventories, net 2,365,924 2,132,744
Other current assets 56,893   70,847
Total current assets $ 2,971,440 $ 2,782,782
 
Property and equipment, net 1,220,882 1,185,169
Intangibles 443,260 443,297
Other non-current assets 451,401   271,818
Total assets $ 5,086,983   $ 4,683,066
 
Floor plan notes payable 1,977,952 1,919,026
Other current liabilities 525,973   381,955
Total current liabilities $ 2,503,925 $ 2,300,981
 
Long-term debt 1,181,230 1,028,476
Other long-term liabilities and deferred revenue 274,723   270,391
Total liabilities $ 3,959,878   $ 3,599,848
 
Stockholder's Equity 1,127,105   1,083,218
Total liabilities & stockholders' equity $ 5,086,983   $ 4,683,066
     

Lithia Motors, Inc.

Summarized Cash Flow from Operations (Unaudited)

(In thousands)

 
Three months ended March 31,
2018   2017
Net income $ 52,061 $ 50,727
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by
operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization 16,854 12,739
Stock-based compensation 3,574 2,619
(Gain) loss on disposal of assets (44 ) 279
Gain on sale of franchise 19
Deferred income taxes 2,688 (417 )
(Increase) decrease:
Trade receivables, net 42,628 76,123
Inventories (98,862 ) (42,298 )
Other assets 14,651 (3,776 )
Increase (decrease):
Floor plan notes payable, net 17,692 2,429
Trade payables 6,933 (7,617 )
Accrued liabilities (13,574 ) 31,116
Other long-term liabilities and deferred revenue 4,253   4,750  
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 48,873   $ 126,674  
     

Lithia Motors, Inc.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Cash Flow from Operations (Unaudited)

(In thousands)

 

Three months ended March 31,

Net cash provided by operating activities

2018   2017
As reported $ 48,873 $ 126,674
Floor plan notes payable, non-trade, net 47,841 (2,110 )
Add: Borrowings on unsecured revolver to increase new vehicle floor
plan capacity(1)
150,000
Less: Borrowings on floor plan notes payable, non-trade associated
with acquired new vehicle inventory
(117,073 )  
Adjusted $ 129,641   $ 124,564  
(1)   Indebtedness associated with a six month unsecured revolving credit
facility to provide flooring capacity in anticipation of expanding
syndicated credit facility in 2018.
     

Lithia Motors, Inc.

Reconciliation of Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures
(Unaudited)

(In thousands, except for per share data)

 

Three Months Ended March 31,
2017

As reported

 

OEM
Settlement

  Adjusted
Selling, general and administrative $ 242,772 $ $ 242,772
 
Income from operations 86,141 86,141
 
Other income (expense), net 9,845 (9,111 ) 734
 
Income before income taxes $ 81,263 $ (9,111 ) $ 72,152
Income tax expense (30,536 ) 3,423   (27,113 )
Net income $ 50,727   $ (5,688 ) $ 45,039  
 
Diluted earnings per share $ 2.01 $ (0.23 ) $ 1.78
Diluted share count 25,250
       

Lithia Motors, Inc.

Adjusted EBITDA and Leveraged Free Cash Flow (Unaudited)

 

Three months ended
March 31,

%
Increase
2018   2017 (Decrease)

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

Net income $ 52,061 $ 50,727 2.6 %
Other interest expense 11,806 6,671 77.0
Income tax expense 17,736 30,536 (41.9 )
Depreciation and amortization 16,854   12,739   32.3
EBITDA $ 98,457   $ 100,673   (2.2 ) %
 
Other adjustments:
Less: used vehicle line of credit interest expense (513 ) (1,026 ) (50.0 )
Less: OEM legal settlements   (9,111 )

NM

 

Adjusted EBITDA $ 97,944   $ 90,536   8.2 %
 

Leveraged EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA $ 97,944 $ 90,536 8.2 %
Less: Capital expenditures (42,004 ) (16,039 ) 161.9
Leveraged EBITDA $ 55,940   $ 74,497   (24.9 ) %

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