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Lithia Motors Posts $9.1 Million in 1Q Income

April 28, 2011

MEDFORD, Ore. — Lithia Motors Inc. reported on Wednesday adjusted first quarter 2011 net income from continuing operations of $9.1 million, up from $2.3 million in the year-ago period. First quarter 2011 revenue from continuing operations increased $143.8 million, or 31.3 percent to $603 million, compared to $459.2 million in the year-ago period.

On a GAAP basis, net income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2011 was $8.7 million, up from $1.4 million in 2010, respectively. New-vehicle same store sales increased 41 percent. Used-vehicle retail same store sales increased 17 percent. Service, body and parts same store sales increased 8 percent. Adjusted selling, general and adminstrative expense as a percentage of gross profit declined 680 basis points.

Sid DeBoer, Lithia's Chairman and CEO, commented, "Our team delivered another strong performance in the first quarter. Although new-vehicle sales increased 45 percent, we maintained a near 1:1 used-to-new ratio. Service, body and parts sales increased 11 percent despite difficult comparisons due to the Toyota recalls last year. The economic recovery is expanding in our western markets, and our stores are focused on exceeding customer expectations."

Lithia ended the first quarter with $102.9 million in immediately available funds, including $13.1 million in cash, $37.6 million in availability on its revolving credit facility, and $52.2 million in unfinanced new vehicle inventory.

In addition, the company said it completed the acquisition of Rasmussen BMW/MINI, Mercedes-Benz of Portland and Mercedes-Benz of Wilsonville on April 18, 2011. The stores will add approximately $176 million in revenue over the next 12 months.

Outlook for 2011

Commenting on the Japanese tragedy, DeBoer continued, "Our sincere condolences go out to the people of Japan, and for the manufacturers and suppliers with employees impacted by the magnitude of events in March. While the entire supply chain is focused on minimizing the disruptions associated with the tragedy, it is clear that vehicle supply will be interrupted in the second and third quarters of 2011. Our guidance has been updated assuming our best estimate of the impact of these events on our operations. While we hope these assumptions prove to be conservative, the near-term outlook for our manufacturer partners remains uncertain."

Lithia projects its 2011 second quarter earnings guidance within a range of $0.32 to $0.34 per diluted share. Full-year 2011 earnings guidance is projected within a range of $1.42 to $1.50 per diluted share. Both projections are based on the following annual assumptions:

• Total revenues in range of $2.5 to $2.6 billion

• New vehicle same store sales increasing 14 percent

• New vehicle gross margin ranging from 7.5 to 7.7 percent

• Used vehicle same store sales increasing 16 percent

• Used vehicle gross margin ranging from 14 to 14.3 percent

• Service body and parts same store sales increasing 2 percent

• Service body and parts gross margin ranging from 48.3 to 48.6 percent

• Finance and insurance gross profit of $980 per unit

• Tax rate of 40 percent

• Estimated average diluted shares outstanding of 26.9 million

• Capital expenditures of approximately $28 million

• Guidance excludes the impact of future acquisitions, dispositions, and any potential non-core items

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