Autonation Shedding Rental Units
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ AutoNation Inc.’s board voted today to separate its National and Alamo rental car businesses so the rest of the company can focus on auto sales.
The Fort Lauderdale-based company disclosed the plans in issuing its quarterly earnings report. The rental division includes National Car Rental, Alamo Rent-A-Car and CarTemps USA.
The board has yet to decide how the rental companies will be separated, said AutoNation spokesman Jim Donahue. He would not say if selling the rental companies was an option being considered.
``We’ll chose the way that is most advantageous to shareholders,″ he said. ``We would like to get it done as quickly as possible.″
H. Wayne Huizenga, chairman and co-chief executive of AutoNation, said the separation would enable the investment community to better recognize and evaluate the strengths and growth prospects of the retail car sales operations.
AutoNation reported earnings from its continuing operations rose to $97.1 million, or 21 cents a share, in the second quarter from $54.2 million, or 11 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Those results exclude the company’s auto rental and solid waste businesses, which AutoNation deems ``discontinued operations.″
On Wall Street, AutoNation’s stock slipped in early trading following the announcements. It was down 2.5 percent, or by 37 1/2 cents, at $15.56 1/4 a share in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.