What’s Driving Advance Auto Parts Earnings

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Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) reported its most recent quarterly results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The company posted $1.97 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.33 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $1.86 in EPS and revenue $2.27 billion. In the second quarter of last year, the specialty retailer said it had EPS of $1.58and $2.26 billion in revenue.

During the most recent quarter, comparable store sales increased by 2.8%, compared to the flat performance in the same period of last year. For the past six months, comparable sales are up only 0.8%.

Just last week, the Advance Auto Parts board of directors authorized a $600 million share repurchase program. This new authorization replaces the company’s $500 million share repurchase program authorized in May 2012, which had $415 million remaining.

The board also declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share to be paid on October 5, to all common shareholders of record as of September 21.

Looking ahead to the 2018 full year, the company expects to see net sales between $9.3 billion and $9.5 billion, with comparable sales ranging from flat to up 1.5%. Consensus estimates call for $6.82 in EPS and $9.38 billion in revenue for the year.

Tom Greco, president and chief executive, commented:

Our relentless focus on strengthening our Customer Value Proposition while embracing an owner’s mindset on cost and cash resulted in improved sales and profit performance in the second quarter. I am encouraged by the progress our team made during the first half of 2018 and confident in our ability to drive growth throughout the balance of 2018.

Shares of Advance Auto traded up 6.5% early Tuesday to $154.23, with a consensus analyst price target of $136.38 and a 52-week trading range of $78.81 to $148.70.