FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) – Ft. Lauderdale based AutoNation Inc. reported that its third-quarter profit was up 24 percent thanks in part to higher prices for new and used vehicles.

The nation’s largest auto dealership chain said that its net income rose to $70.7 million, or 48 cents per share, for the period that ended Sept. 30. The company says revenue increased 7 percent to $3.5 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 47 cents a share on revenue of $3.4 billion.

Because Japanese automakers ran short of supply due to the March earthquake, AutoNation said new-vehicle revenue at dealerships open at least a year fell 2 percent and were flat overall. Used vehicle revenue rose 7 percent.

CEO Mike Jackson says new vehicle sales should improve in the fourth quarter.

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