Should CarMax Get More Credit for Q1 Earnings?

CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX) released its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The company said that it had $1.59 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.37 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $1.47 in EPS and $5.12 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $1.33 in EPS and $4.79 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, net sales and operating revenues increased 12%, while total used-unit sales rose 13%.

At the same time, used unit sales in comparable stores increased 9.5%. The comparable store sales performance reflected strong conversion and solid growth in web traffic.

Total wholesale unit sales increased 6.6%, largely driven by an increase in CarMax’s appraisal buy rate and the growth in the store base.

Compared with last year’s first quarter, CarMax Auto Finance income increased 0.3% to $116 million, reflecting a 7.9% increase in average managed receivables, largely offset by the effects of a higher loan-loss provision.

Bill Nash, president and CEO, commented:

In addition, we’re pleased with the continued strong response to our omni-channel roll-out in Atlanta. In early June, we successfully launched this capability in most of our Florida markets, along with opening our first customer experience center in Atlanta. We believe that no other company is in a better position to deliver this omni-channel experience efficiently and profitably. This is truly an unmatched experience that we are confident is the future of car buying.

Shares of CarMax closed Thursday at $83, with a 52-week range of $55.24 to $84.99. The consensus analyst price target is $83.38. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 3% at $85.57 in early-trading indications Friday.