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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Chip shortages could be viewed as a blessing for AutoNation at this point.

Driving the news: The car chain reported its sixth-consecutive quarterly earnings record on Thursday. That's thanks to higher consumer prices driven by production constraints.

Why it matters: Demand for cars continues to eclipse supply, creating more room for AutoNation and other dealers to raise prices and lift profits.

By the numbers: September month-end inventory was about 5,000, less than a 10th of 2019 levels (56,000).

  • Same-store gross revenue rose 18% year over year and over 2019, while same-store gross profit rose 29% over 2020 — and a whopping and 45% over 2019.

Yes, but: Used car sales did the heavy lifting — same-store used car sales grew 20% compared to 2020 and 23% versus 2019. New car sales fell 11% from a year earlier and fell 20% from 2019.

On the flip side, for consumers selling or trading in cars, the price appreciation is a windfall, Mike Jackson, AutoNation CEO, said on the earnings call Thursday.

Go deeper: Used car prices are increasing again

Go deeper

Meat prices rise in Arkansas

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Everyone knows whole turkeys were in high demand recently.

  • But as you prepare for other holiday gatherings, expect to pay more for all meat and poultry.

Why it matters: On average, Americans spend about 10% of their income on food, so as prices rise, people with lower incomes are hit hardest.

2 hours ago - Health

Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New data from South Africa suggests the Omicron variant spreads more than twice as quickly as the Delta variant, and that immunity from prior infection doesn't appear to protect a person very well against Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The findings are extremely preliminary, and there are still many open questions about how well vaccines work against the variant. But these initial breadcrumbs of data are helping the world begin to understand what it's up against.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Technology

AI could end foreign-language subtitles

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

AI companies are developing methods to translate and synthesize voices in ads, movies and TV.

Why it matters: The advances in voice synthesis could help fix bad movie dubbing — and they come as international content is becoming increasingly important to studios and streaming platforms as part of the globalization of entertainment.