Is Advance Auto Parts Growing Fast Enough?

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Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) reported its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The specialty retailer said that it had $2.10 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.3 billion in revenue, while consensus estimates had called for $2.05 in EPS and $2.3 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.89 in EPS and $2.24 billion in revenue.

During the latest quarter, net sales increased 1.6%, with comparable store sales increasing 1.2% in this time as well. The decrease was driven primarily by an increase in coupon redemptions in connection with the impact of the launch of the company’s enhanced loyalty program initiatives.

Looking ahead to the 2019 full year, the company expects to see net sales between $9.65 billion and $9.75 billion and comparable store sales in the range of 1.0% to 1.5%. Consensus estimates call for $7.90 in EPS and $9.72 billion in revenue for the full year.

Tom Greco, president and CEO, commented:

In addition to our performance improvements and margin expansion, we continue to invest in critical information technology and supply chain initiatives that are expected to unlock significant productivity over the next several years. Notably, our working capital improvements were driven by our focus on cash management across the board. I am confident in our teams’ ability to drive additional sales and margin progress. We are on track to deliver record free cash flow, resulting in a substantial year over year increase in 2019 versus the prior year. Consistent with our commitment to drive significant value growth for our shareholders, I am also pleased to announce an additional $700.0 million share repurchase authorization.

Shares of Advance Auto Parts traded down about 7.5% Tuesday morning to $156.10, in a 52-week range of $130.09 to $186.15. The consensus price target is $172.81.


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