Medford-based Lithia Motors acquired a group of dealerships in the Portland area, including Rasmussen BMW MINI, Mercedes-Benz of Portland and Mercedes-Benz of Wilsonville.
The most recent acquisitions come less than a year after Lithia expanded in Bend and Billings, Montana.
Lithia’s current expansion is in stark contrast to its situation a little more than two years ago, when the country was deep into recession. The company’s stock price fell to below $2 a share on the New York Stock Exchange and, at the end of 2008, Lithia’s board approved a plan to offer financial security to its top managers in the event that bargain hunters tried to take it over.
Since then, the company has gone from a loss of about $252.6 million in 2008 to a profit of $9.2 million in 2009 and $13.72 million in 2010, according to financial reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its stock has been trading between $15.03 and $15.37 for the past 52 weeks, well above its price two years ago, although still below its prerecession level of more than $30 per share.
Read more at The Register-Guard.