Ally Financial reported a 58% drop in quarterly earnings as its core auto lending business took a hit from stay-at-home orders that kept consumers away from dealerships.
For the second quarter, the 17th-largest U.S. bank’s net income fell to $241 million from $582 million. Adjusted earnings declined 37% to 61 cents per share but beat analysts’ estimates of 31 cents per share.
With U.S. new car sales dropping about 35% in the second quarter amid COVID-19 shutdowns — the most in a quarter since the Great Recession — Ally saw an 8.9% drop in net financing revenue to $1.05 billion.
But total net revenue rose 4% to $1.61 billion, reflecting in part the strongest quarterly retail deposit growth in Ally’s history, and CEO Jeffrey Brown said the auto finance business “saw meaningful improvement toward the end of the quarter.”
Ally delivered $7.2 billion of consumer originations during the quarter and, despite low interest rates, maintained estimated retail auto originated yields above 7% for a ninth consecutive quarter.
“We saw steady improvement throughout the quarter as shelter-in-place orders eased and dealers quickly adapted to the COVID environment,” CFO Jennifer LaClair told analysts in an earnings call.
Many dealers “began offering contactless, concierge services and increased the use of digital tools in the sales and closing process,” she noted.
Ally had suffered a net loss of $319 million in the first quarter, down from a net profit of $374 million a year earlier, after it set aside $903 million for credit loan losses expected from the coronavirus pandemic.
In the second quarter, it reserved only $287 million for loan losses. “We’re seeing strong payment rates, not only in retail auto, but also in mortgage as well as Ally Lending,” LaClair said.
On news of the earnings, Ally’s shares fell 5% to $21.29 in trading Friday. Since the company terminated its $2.7 billion takeover of CardWorks on June 24, the stock had risen 22.4% through Thursday’s close.