Retail

COVID-19 Slams CarMax Sales, Earnings

When CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX) reported first-quarter fiscal 2021 results before markets opened Friday, the used-car retailer reported quarterly adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.38 on revenues of $3.23 billion. In the same period a year ago, CarMax reported EPS of $1.59 on revenue of $5.37 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.04 and $2.71 billion in revenue.

First-quarter EPS included a one-time benefit of $0.18 related to proceeds from a settlement paid to the company in a class-action lawsuit.

The company said that more than 80% of days in the first quarter were negatively affected by store closures and limited operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Same-store unit sales were down 42% year over year.

The better news is that same-store sales have improved since hitting a low in April. For the first two weeks of June, same-store sales are down by less than 10%.

Total gross profit declined by 52.3% year over year and used vehicle gross profit fell by 47.4%, down by $278 per unit to $1,937. Wholesale vehicle gross profit declined by 50.8%, down by $65 per unit to $978.

SG&A expenses declined year over year by nearly 24% to $373.7 million. However, due to the drop in unit sales, SG&A costs per unit rose by $585 to $2,768.

CarMax said it paid out about $30 million related to the coronavirus outbreak, including “at least” 14 days of pay if a store was closed or quarantined and continuing medical benefits for furloughed employees. CEO Bill Nash said that more than 85% of furloughed sales associates have been called back to work.

Nash also said that CarMax had shifted its entire wholesale business from in-person to online auctions and that he believes that “changing consumer behavior is favoring companies with omni-channel offerings.”

New car sales fell by an estimated 50% year over year in April and by around 32% in May. Used car sales appear to be picking up more quickly, however, likely due to available inventory and lower prices for used cars.

CarMax did not offer second-quarter guidance, but analysts are looking for EPS of $0.57 and sales of $3.97 billion for the quarter ending in August. For the company’s fiscal year ending in February 2021, analysts forecast EPS of $2.69 on sales of $16.65 billion.

In late morning trading Friday, CarMax shares traded down more than 4%, at $93.34 in a 52-week range of $37.59 to $103.18. The consensus 12-month price target is $95.91.