ignore when deciding whether to buy a new car.
Jackson said auto manufacturers have never been better balanced in terms of matching vehicle production with demand, meaning they do not have to pile on incentives, which harm a used car's residual value. He said 2013 U.S. sales of about 15.5 million will be attained without hefty incentives.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based AutoNation reported fourth quarter net income of $83.2 million, or 67 cents per share, versus $69.4 million, or 49 cents per share a year ago.
Fourth-quarter revenue was $4.17 billion, up from $3.68 billion a year before. New vehicle sales rose 19 percent to $2.48 billion.
Excluding one-time items, AutoNation's earnings per share of 67 cents beat analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expectations of 64 cents.
AutoNation repurchased 1.3 million shares for $49 million in the fourth quarter, at an average price of $39.21 per share. In 2012, it repurchased 16.6 million shares for $581 million, or $34.89 per share.
(Reporting By Bernie Woodall; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Grant McCool and Nick Zieminski)