KAR Auction revenue up, profit down

Carmel-based KAR Auction Services Inc. saw revenue climb but profit shrink in the first quarter, the company said Monday afternoon.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 reached $506.9 million, up 5 percent from $484.7 million in the first quarter of 2011.

The revenue slightly exceeded analyst estimates.

KAR reported first-quarter earnings of $26 million, or 19 cents per share, compared to $39.8 million, or 29 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Adjusted earnings for quarter fell 24 percent, to 31 cents per share, in line with analyst expectations.

Earnings dropped, KAR said, because it paid an effective tax rate of 41.4 percent in the most recent quarter compared to a rate of 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2011. The 2011 period benefitted from the reversal of $14.4 million in tax reserves, the company said.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 6 percent from a year ago, to $134.9 million.

For all of 2012, KAR said it expects earnings in a range of 75 cents to 80 cents per share.

KAR stock fell 60 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $16.87 per share in early trading Tuesday.

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