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Casey's (CASY) Gains on Strong Digital Wing, Recovering Traffic

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Renowned convenience store chain, Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY - Free Report) , has been gaining from strong digital offerings. Its well-chalked omnichannel strategies to survive the tough retail landscape — like boosting mobile app features and online ordering capabilities — have been yielding. Improvement in traffic conditions across the company’s stores, owing to leniency in pandemic-led restrictions, has been an upside. Casey's is undertaking prudent measures to boost product offerings across the Grocery and Prepared Foods categories and is also resorting to store expansions. Let’s take a closer look at factors driving the performance of this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Strong Digital Capabilities

Casey's constant expansion of its digital capabilities are helping it offer a seamless shopping experience to guests and boosting same-store sales growth. During first-quarter fiscal 2022, digital sales increased 14%. The company has been constantly upgrading features on its website, and has rolled out a new mobile app.

In addition, management has been expanding delivery capabilities. It has expanded UberEats marketplace across 750 stores, while the DoorDash marketplace is available at the company’s 890 outlets. The company continues to utilize its own delivery drivers at 400 stores as well as keeps offering in-store pickup and curbside pickup at above 2,200 outlets. Such efforts have helped the company provide its customers with a seamless shopping experience and boosted same-store sales growth.

Grocery & Prepared Foods Segments are Doing Well

Strategic sourcing initiatives implemented earlier this year, increased penetration of private label products and improved guest traffic have been aiding Casey's business. Such upsides are particularly favoring sales across the Grocery & General Merchandise as well as Prepared Food & Dispensed Beverage units. The company has been witnessing strong traffic trends for packaged beverages, grocery items such as salty snacks and meat snacks, bakery items as well as pizza slices. During the first quarter, Grocery & General Merchandise sales rose 14.2%, while sales in the Prepared Food & Dispensed Beverage category rose 13.9% year on year.

The company’s breakfast line-up, particularly pizza, is doing pretty well. Other items like donuts, baked goods, coffee and sandwiches are also quite popular. Management remains optimistic about these line-ups and looks forward to making innovations to accelerate breakfast growth. Fuel sales have been rising on account of easing pandemic-led restrictions.

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Store Expansions & Other Growth Efforts

Casey’s prides on being one of the leading convenience store retailers in the United Stated with a strong brick-and-mortar footprint. During the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the company constructed three new stores, acquired 139 stores and closed five. As of Jul 31, 2021, it operated 2,380 stores. Last year, the company unveiled its three-year strategic plan to add nearly 345 stores. Earlier this year, the company completed the acquisition of Bucky’s convenience stores from Buchanan Energy. The acquisition of Buchanan Energy adds 94 retail stores and 79 dealer locations to Casey's business. Last month, the company announced an agreement to acquire 40 Pilot convenience stores from Pilot Corporation.

The company is progressing well with its strategic efforts like price and product optimization, cost-containment efforts and boosting distribution efficiency. Such measures along with prudent actions to boost product offerings should continue augmenting sales. The company is also positive about the Casey's Rewards program that includes about 4 million members.

Casey's shares have increased 6.5% so far in the year compared with the industry’s rise of 9.8%

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Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Free Report) , with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.6%.

The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX - Free Report) , also with a Zacks Rank #2, has a long-term earnings growth rate of 10.5%.