Advance Auto Parts Inc.
) saw a 6.8% rise in comparable earnings to 94 cents per share in
the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 from 88 cents in the prior-year
quarter. It also exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16
cents per share.
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Including transaction expenses of 24 cents related to the
acquisition of General Parts International and integration
expenses of 3 cents for B.W.P. Distributors, earnings per share
(on a reported basis) came in at 67 cents compared with 88 cents
in the year-ago quarter. Net earnings rose 5.7% to $68.7 million
from $65.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.
Revenues went up 6% to $1.41 billion, marginally beating the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.38 billion. Sales benefited from
the acquisition of BWP Distributors, increase in comparable same
store sales and the net addition of 151 new stores in the last 12
months. Comparable store sales increased 0.1% versus a decrease
of 1.9% during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.
Gross profit increased 5.8% to $701.8 million or 49.8% of sales
in the quarter compared with $663.2 million or 49.9% of sales a
year ago. The marginal decrease in gross profit margin was due to
higher mix of commercial sales (which has a lower gross margin
rate), partially offset by increased merchandise margins.
Comparable SG&A expenses were $587.9 million or 41.7% of
sales in the quarter, compared with $550 million or 41.4% in the
fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. The increase in margin resulted
from higher incentive compensation and increased new store
openings, which was partially offset by lower administrative and
support costs and enhanced labor productivity.
Operating income increased 0.6% to $113.8 million from $113.2
million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Operating margin
was 8.1% versus 8.5% a year ago.
Fiscal 2013 Performance
Advance Auto Parts' comparable earnings increased 8.6% year over
year to $5.67 per share for full-year 2013, beating the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $5.44. Revenues for full-year 2013
increased 4.7% to $6.49 billion from $6.21 billion in 2012.
During the quarter, Advance Auto Parts opened 55 stores and
closed 24 stores including planned consolidations of 17 BWP
stores and 5 Autopart International stores. In 2013, the company
opened 172 Advance Auto Part and Autopart International stores in
addition to the acquisition of 124 BWP stores. Additionally, the
company closed 41 stores including planned consolidations of 20
BWP stores and 13 Autopart International stores during the year.
As of Dec 28, 2013, the company's total store count stood at
4,049, including 217 Autopart International stores.
The board of directors of Advance Auto Parts declared a regular
quarterly dividend of 6 cents per share to be paid on Apr 4, 2014
to stockholders of record as of Mar 21, 2014.
Advance Auto Parts had cash and cash equivalents of $1.1 billion
as of Dec 28, 2013, an increase from $598.1 million as of Dec 29,
2012. Long-term debt increased to $1.1 billion as of Dec 28,
2013, from $605.1 million as of Dec 29, 2012. The long-term
debt-to-capitalization ratio stood at 41% versus 33.3% as of Dec
In the 52-week period ended Dec 28, 2013, operating cash flow
dipped to $545.3 million from $685.3 million in the year-ago
period. Free cash flow in 2013 was $183.1 million versus $412.3
million last year. This decline can be attributed to the
acquisition of BWP and increase in inventory, which were
partially offset by lower capital expenditures. Capital
expenditures in 2013 were $195.8 million as compared with $271.2
million year ago.
Advance Auto Parts continues to expect earnings between $7.20 and
$7.40 per share for 2014. The company will continue to focus on
sales growth and to improve operating profit with the benefits
from the General Part acquisition.
Advance Auto Parts, which is a prominent player in the automotive
replacement parts and accessories industry along with
O'Reilly Automotive Inc.
), currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).