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Copart, Inc. (CPRT - Snapshot Report) witnessed a 20.7% rise in earnings to 35 cents per share in the fiscal fourth quarter ended July 31, 2012 from 29 cents per share in the corresponding quarter last year. The company’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents per share. In absolute terms, profits escalated 10.8% to $44.9 million from $40.5 million in the year-ago quarter.

The company’s revenues went up 5.2% to $226.6 million in the quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $219.0 million. The year-over-year growth in revenues was attributable to increased unit volume sales in North America. However, volume sales in the U.K. remained flat due to the challenging economic condition in the region. Same-store sales went up 6.6% during the quarter.

Gross profit increased 11% to $99.4 million or 43.9% of sales from $89.6 million or 41.6% in the year-ago quarter. Operating income swelled 9.5% to $69.5 million from $63.5 million recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.

Fiscal 2012 Results

Copart posted a 28.7% rise in earnings to $1.39 per share in the fiscal year ended July 31, 2012 from $1.08 per share in fiscal 2011. Profits climbed 9.5% to $182.1 million from $166.4 million in the year-ago period.

Revenues improved 6% to $924.2 million from $872.2 million in fiscal 2011. Operating income augmented 8% to $286.4 million from $265.3 million in fiscal 2011.

Share Repurchase

During fiscal 2012, the company has repurchased 2.8 billion shares for $65.0 billion, at an average price of $23.22. The company has 48,213,218 shares remaining under its share repurchase authorization at the end of the fiscal year.

Financial Details

Copart had cash and cash equivalents of $140.1 million as of July 31, 2012 versus $74.0 million as of July 31, 2011. Total debt and capital lease obligations amounted to $444.1 million as of July 31, 2012 compared with $375.8 million as of July 31, 2011. During fiscal 2012, the company generated net cash flow of $229.7 million compared with $242.9 million in the prior fiscal year.

Our Take

Copart is the provider of online auctions and vehicle remarketing services in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and U.A.E. and operates 156 facilities. The company provides a wide range of remarketing services to vehicle suppliers, primarily insurance companies, to process and sell salvage vehicles mainly over the Internet through the company's Virtual Bidding Internet auction-style sales technology.

Copart, which competes with Liquidity Services, Inc. (LQDT - Snapshot Report), maintains a Zacks #4 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Sell rating. Currently, we have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
 

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