British car dealer Lookers anticipates that full-year results will approach the top end of market expectations due to better trading during the fourth quarter and also as the performance of its car parts business continues to be strong.
Looker's shares, which have gained about 20% in the last 12 months, rose almost 5% at 65 pence at 09:00 GMT on Friday on the London Stock Exchange.
In addition, the 124-outlet firm, which sells cars from carmakers including Ford, Vauxhall, Nissan and Toyota, also predicts full-year results ahead of its own expectations.
On average, analysts expect a pretax profit of 32.9 million pounds ($52.10 million) on revenue of $1.84 billion for 2010, according to Thomson Reuters. Last Friday, Brokerage Panmure Gordon raised the price target on the company's stock to 80 pence from 70 pence.
Analysts Mike Allen and Paul Jones sent a note to clients, saying that Lookers is more defensive than its peers because of its above average exposure to parts and aftersales, which is why they expect it to “fare relatively well if trading conditions did get more difficult."
Lookers’ motor division also performed strongly, with higher sales of new and used cars. Lookers’ competitors include Inchcape and Pendragon,