CarMax Earnings Rise 15% As Used Vehicle Sales Jump

CarMax , the largest retailer of used cars in the United States, posted a 15% rise in quarterly earnings, helped by strong sales and Internet traffic.

Earnings rose to $42.1 million, or 19 cents a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, from $36.7 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier.

The latest results include an asset impairment charge of 1 cent a share related to a new car franchise.

Analysts were expecting CarMax to earn 21 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

Fourth-quarter sales rose 16% to $1.88 billion.

CarMax forecast fiscal 2008 earnings of $1.03 to $1.14 a share. Analysts' average forecast is $1.07.

The company said it plans to expand its used car stores by about 17% in fiscal 2008, opening 13 used car superstores.

The company expects its capital expenditures to total $300 million in the year.

CarMax said comparable-store sales of used cars are expected to grow 3% to 9% in fiscal 2008, and total revenue is expected to climb 14% to 20%.