or 19 cents per diluted share from 1Q 2011.
Aftermarket services accounted for about 61% of the company's total gross profits for the first quarter 2012. First quarter parts, service and body shop revenues reached a new record quarterly high, increasing by 35% as compared to first quarter 2011, despite the usual seasonality experienced during this timeframe. This contributed to a quarterly absorption rate of 116.7%.
In the first quarter, Rush's Class 8 retail sales increased by 104% over the same time period in 2011, significantly outpacing the U.S. Class 8 truck market, which increased by 48%.
"Our increase in Class 8 truck sales was primarily the result of continued strong activity in the energy sector, replacement truck deliveries to larger fleets, increased stock truck sales and delivery of natural gas trucks sales to several large refuse fleets," says W. M. "Rusty" Rush, president and CEO. "Our Class 8 truck sales performance this quarter is evidence that the company's strategy to offer vocational products for a diverse range of commercial vehicle market segments is working. We believe natural gas will grow into a viable alternate fuel and are pleased to represent truck brands offering products utilizing this technology."
Rush's Class 4-7 medium-duty sales increased 92% over the first quarter of 2011, also outpacing the U. S. Class 4-7 market, which increased 16%. Rush's Class 4-7 market share accounted for 4% of the total U.S. market, up from 2.5% in the first quarter of 2011.
Parts, service and body shop sales revenue was $196.6 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to $145.6 million in the first quarter of 2011. The company delivered 2,738 new heavy-duty trucks, 1,556 new medium-duty commercial vehicles, 277 new light-duty commercial vehicles and 1,252 used commercial vehicles during the first quarter of 2012, compared to 1,345 new heavy-duty trucks, 811 new medium-duty commercial vehicles, 112 new light-duty commercial vehicles and 1,107 used trucks during the first quarter of 2011.
For more information on Rush Enterprises, go to www.rushenterprises.com.