Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (AAP - Free Report) reported adjusted earnings of $1.17 per share in fourth-quarter 2018 (ended Dec 29, 2018), up from 77 cents in the prior-year quarter. The figure surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.14. Adjusted operating income increased 11.7% year over year to $127.1 million.
Advance Auto Parts reported net revenues of $2.1 billion, almost in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Revenues were 3.3% higher than the year-ago quarter. During the quarter under review, comparable store sales were 3.4% higher year over year.
Gross profit was $928.6 million in the reported quarter, higher than the prior-year quarter figure of $873.6 million. Gross Profit margin increased 120 basis points year over year to 44.1%.
Adjusted selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses totaled $802.4 million compared with $759.9 million in the year-ago period.
For 2018, Advance Auto Parts reported adjusted earnings per share of $7.13, up from the 2017 figure of $5.37.
For 2018, revenues were $9.6 billion, up from the 2017 figure of $9.4 billion.
Advance Auto Parts had cash and cash equivalents of $896.5 million as of Dec 29, 2018, up from $546.9 million as of Dec 30, 2017. The total long-term debt was $1.05 billion as of Dec 29, 2018, higher than $1.04 billion as of Dec 30, 2017.
In fourth-quarter 2018, operating cash flow was $811 million, up 35% year over year.
Dividend & Share Repurchase
On Feb 11, 2019, Advance Auto Parts’ board approved a cash dividend of 6 cents per share to be paid as of Apr 5, 2019, for shareholders of record as of Mar 22, 2019.
On Aug 8, 2018, the board of directors authorized a $600-million share repurchase program, replacing the existing $500-million share repurchase program. Under this program, the company repurchased 1.7 million shares for $272.8 million in 2018. Subsequently, it also bought back 0.8 million common shares for $172.2 million. Presently, Advance Auto Parts has $200 million remaining under the share repurchase program.
As of Dec 29, 2018, Advance Auto Parts operated 4,966 stores and 143 Worldpac branches, and served approximately 1,231 independently-owned Carquest stores.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Advance Auto Parts currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the auto space are Oshkosh Corp. (OSK - Free Report) , General Motors Company (GM - Free Report) , and American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings, Inc. (AXL - Free Report) . While Oshkosh currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both General Motors and American Axle & Manufacturing has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Oshkosh has an expected long-term growth rate of 11.3%. Over the past three months, shares of the company have surged 21.7%.
General Motors has an expected long-term growth rate of 8.5%. Over the past three months, shares of the company have risen 12.7%.
American Axle & Manufacturing has an expected long-term growth rate of 8.1%. Over the past three months, shares of the company have risen 44.8%.
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