Sonic Automotive, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2008 Results
CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 31, 2009: Sonic Automotive, Inc. , a leader in automotive retailing, today announced a fourth quarter 2008 loss from continuing operations of $658.8 million, or $16.43 per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $26.8 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, in the prior year period.
For the full year 2008, the Company recorded a loss from continuing operations of $634.1 million, or $15.71 per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $98.2 million, or $2.17 per diluted share, for the full year 2007.
After adjusting for the charges which are more fully described in the attached tables, the Company had a loss from continuing operations of $4.8 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter 2008 and income from continuing operations of $42.2 million, or $1.05 per diluted share, for the full year 2008.
Scott Smith, the Company's President and Chief Strategic Officer, stated, "Due to the current market conditions and the resulting decline in our stock price, we were required under accounting rules to record non-cash goodwill and franchise impairment charges this quarter. This non-cash charge has no impact on the covenant calculations under our credit facility."
Mr. Smith continued, "We are operating in one of the most challenging economic environments in automotive retailing history. The disruption in the credit markets, increases in unemployment, and the resulting declines in consumer confidence have caused industry-wide new vehicle sales levels to decline dramatically. To respond to these challenges in the new vehicle sales environment, we are focusing on the other core pieces of our business including used vehicles and parts and service. We are seeing promising improvements in these areas in the early part of 2009. We also continue to focus on the cost side of the business and have implemented cost reductions which we project to yield approximately $125 million in annual savings. We envision the macro-economic environment and the automotive retailing business will continue to be challenging in 2009. As a result, we have determined it is not feasible to provide reliable 2009 earnings guidance at this time."
Presentation materials for the Company's earnings conference call at 11:00 A.M. (Eastern) on April 1, 2009 can be accessed on the Company's website at SONIC by clicking on the "For Investors" tab and choosing "Webcasts & Presentations" on the right side of the screen.
A live audio of the conference call will be accessible to the public by calling (877) 791-3416. International callers dial (706) 643-0958. Callers should dial in approximately 10 minutes before the call begins.
A conference call replay will be available one hour following the call for seven days and can be accessed by calling: (800) 642-1687 (domestic) or (706) 645-9291 (international), conference call ID #85024968.