Carvana posts wider Q4, 2018 losses as U.S. expansion rolls out

Carvana posted a wider fourth-quarter loss of $ 86.4 million as the used-vehicle upstart continued to spend heavily to expand into new markets. Revenue jumped 121 percent to $ 584.8 million as retail units sold climbed 105 percent to 27,750.

The used-vehicle retailer’s gross profit rose 156 percent to $ 56.1 million during the latest quarter.

The company’s fourth-quarter 2017 loss totaled $ 47.2 million on revenue of $ 265 million.

The Tempe, Ariz., company has been in expansion mode at the expense of profitability, with one analyst calling Carvana the Tesla of the dealership world. The company said it added seven car vending machines in 2018 for a total of 15 at year end.

Carvana, which offers delivery service in some areas, said it entered 41 new markets in 2018 and now operates in 100 markets.

For all of 2018, the company’s net loss grew to $ 254.7 million. Revenue increased 128 percent to $ 1.96 billion. Retail unit sales rose 113 percent to 94,108, and the company’s full-year gross profit jumped 189 percent to $ 196.7 million.

“Carvana closed out a strong 2018 with its 20th consecutive quarter of triple-digit unit and revenue growth. This made us the fastest-growing public auto retailer in the country,” Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia said in a statement. “Our ability to execute at even greater scale continues to give us confidence in our path to selling 2 million cars per year.

For 2019, the company is targeting unit sales of 160,000 to 165,000, or an increase of 70 to 75 percent, and revenue of $ 3.4 billion to $ 3.5 billion, an increase of 74 to 79 percent. Gross profit per unit sold in 2019 is expected to total $ 2,450 to $ 2,650, up from $ 2,133 for 2018.

The company said Wednesday it hopes to expand into 50 to 60 new markets this year.

Carvana shares closed Wednesday at $ 41.82, up $ 1.32.

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Section Page News – Automotive News

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