Advance Auto Parts CEO: we’re now better positioned than pre-pandemic

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Advance Auto Parts Inc (NYSE: AAP) on Monday said its sales in the fiscal fourth quarter topped Wall Street estimates. Shares, however, are down 1.0% in extended trading on lower-than-expected profit.

Q4 financial performance

Advance Auto parts said its Q4 profit printed at $81.7 million that translated to $1.30 per share. In the same quarter last year, it had posted a higher $112 million in profit or $1.65 a share. On an adjusted basis, the automotive parts seller earned $2.07 per share in the recent quarter.

At $2.40 billion, the U.S. company noted a 2.0% annualised growth in revenue. According to FactSet, experts had forecast $1.97 of adjusted EPS on $2.37 billion in revenue. In the earnings press release, CEO Tom Greco said:

We had a strong Q4 and delivered a record 2021 across all key metrics. We remained focused on the execution of the strategy to deliver top-quartile total shareholder returns. Our business is substantially stronger and better positioned today than it was prior to the pandemic.

Guidance for fiscal 2022

For fiscal 2022, Advance Auto Parts expects its net sales to fall in the range of $11.2 billion to $11.5 billion. The Raleigh-based company forecasts up to $13.75 of per-share earnings this year.

The NYSE-listed firm improved its adjusted gross profit margin in Q4, mainly due to better pricing. While inflationary pressures continue to be a challenge, the chief executive said:

We’re still navigating macroeconomic uncertainty, but investments in differentiating our business and industry tailwinds, such as improvement in miles driven and an ageing fleet, will continue to provide competitive advantage and drive profitable growth and total shareholder return.

Last month, Advance Auto Parts initiated gas rewards in collaboration with Shell.

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