TrueCar Slips Despite Rising Sales

TrueCar Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) saw its shares drop in Friday’s regular trading session despite rising new vehicle sales. The company posted its 27th consecutive month of year-over-year revenue expansion. In turn, TrueCar estimates that U.S. new vehicle sales totaled $55 billion in March, up 9.7% from a year ago and the highest for the month.

The company estimates the average transaction price (ATP) for a new light vehicle was $32,887 in March, up 2% from last year. The average incentive spending per unit rose by $284 to $3,005. The ratio of incentive spending to ATP was 9.1%, up from 8.4%.

TrueCar expects average transaction prices for new vehicles to increase 4.2% to $33,925 in 2016. At the same time, incentive spending will grow more moderately, rising 3% compared to 2015. Overall industry revenue from new vehicles should hit $610.6 billion, up 7.3% compared to 2015.

Eric Lyman, TrueCar’s vice president of industry insights, commented:

The first quarter of the year appears to have ended nicely for automakers, marked by healthy consumer demand and solid transaction price growth. For the quarter, we expect sales to outpace the year-ago period by 5 percent and each month in 2016 has set a year-over-year revenue record.

Stacey Doyle, senior industry analyst for TrueCar, added:

While some automakers are incentivizing consumers more aggressively, these increases are offset by a richer mix of vehicles sold, particularly in the mid- to full-size pickup truck and luxury utility segments.

Shares of TrueCar were trading down 6.7% at $5.21 on Friday, with a consensus analyst price target of $5.31 and a 52-week trading range of $4.01 to $16.95.