KAR tops quarterly expectations with rising revenue, earnings

KAR Auction Services Inc. on Tuesday reported rising quarterly revenue and earnings that exceeded analyst expectations.

The Carmel-based vehicle reseller turned a profit of $62.8 million, or 46 cents per share, in the third quarter, an increase of 15 percent over the $54.4 million, or 39 cents per share, it realized in the same quarter of 2016.

Adjusted operating earnings rose 14 percent, to 57 cents per share, topping the average estimate of 49 cents per share by seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

KAR brought in revenue of $843 million in the period, up 7 percent from $789.6 million in the year-ago quarter.  That topped analyst predictions of $841.4 million.

The company increased its forecast for full-year adjusted operating earnings to the range of $2.30 to $2.40 per share, up from previous guidance of $2.15 to $2.25.

KAR acquired full control of Toronto-based tech company TradeRev in the quarter by agreeing to spend up to $125 million to buy a 50 percent stake in the company. KAR had acquired the other 50 percent for $30 million in 2014.

TradeRev’s software allows auto dealers to buy and sell used cars with one another and analyze transactions.

“I am very pleased with KAR’s consolidated performance and our ability to navigate the events encountered during the third quarter,” KAR Auction CEO Jim Hallett said in written remarks. “KAR’s performance, operational strategy and capital allocation approach position us well for the fourth quarter and the future.”

KAR stock rose nearly 3 percent Wednesday morning, $48.70 per share.

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