Carvana Q4 net loss widens on debt costs; revenue surges

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Carvana Co.’s fourth-quarter revenue soared amid higher unit sales, though a large outlay to restructure debt led to a higher netloss.

The online used-vehicle retailer said Thursday it posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $154.6 million, compared with a net loss of $125.7 million in the year-earlier period. Carvana said the net loss included $34 million in costs to refinance senior unsecured notes.

Revenue surged 65 percent to $1.83 billion. Retail sales jumped 43 percent to 72,172 units.

The company said gross profit increased 71 percent to $243.9 million, while gross profit per unit rose $549 to $3,379.

Carvana purchased 72,200 vehicles from customers during the latest period, more than double the amount in fourth quarter of 2019.

“Growth in vehicles acquired from customers also fed our retail inventory, diversifying our selection and improving acquisition prices,” Carvana said in a letter to shareholders. “In Q4, we sourced 65 percent of retail units sold from customers, up from 43 percent in Q4 2019 and 56 percent last quarter.”

Carvana also opened two reconditioning centers in the quarter, one near Orlando and another near Memphis, Tenn. The company also opened two used-vehicle vending machines in the fourth-quarter, one near Detroit and another in Atlanta. Carvana had 27 vending machines in operation as of Dec. 31.

The company also entered five new markets. Carvana said at the end of 2020 it was operating in 266 U.S. markets, covering nearly 74 percent of the nation’s population.

Carvana shares traded down 7.8 percent at $243 in after-hours trading.

For all of 2020, Carvana reported net loss of $462.2 million, compared with a loss of $364.6 million in 2019. In 2020, Carvana’s vehicle sales increased 37 percent to 244,111, while revenue rose 42 percent to nearly $5.59 billion. Its gross profit in 2020 jumped 57 percent to $793.8 million, while gross profit per unit rose $400 to $3,252. Carvana said it bought 204,000 vehicles from customers last year, up 95 percent.

Carvana, of Tempe, Ariz., ranks No. 4 on Automotive News‘ list of the top 100 retailers based in the U.S. in used-vehicle sales, retailing 177,549 used vehicles in 2019.

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