Penske raises dividend 7%

Penske Automotive Group Inc. increased its quarterly dividend by 7 percent, to 15 cents per share, for the first quarter, the company announced today.

The dividend is payable on June 3 to shareholders of record on May 20. The dividend is up 1 cent per share from the previous quarter’s payout.

Last month the company reported a 23 percent increase in net income for the first quarter, citing higher new- and used-vehicle sales. Net income rose to $57.7 million in the quarter — the company’s highest quarterly earnings ever — and revenue climbed 8 percent to $3.4 billion.

New-vehicle sales rose 10 percent to 45,745 units and used-vehicle sales increased 10 percent , to 40,076 for the quarter.

Penske ranks No. 2 on the Automotive News list of top 125 dealership groups in the United States with retail sales of 180,764 new vehicles in 2012.

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