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BENTONVILLE, Ark., Aug. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- America's Car-Mart, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRMT) today announced its operating results for its first fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2012. On August 16, 2012, the Company's Board of Directors once again re-authorized the repurchase of up to 1 million shares of its common stock under the common stock repurchase program which was last amended and approved on November 17, 2011. Since February 1, 2010, the Company has invested approximately $80 million to repurchase 23.2% of its outstanding shares under its stock repurchase program.
Highlights of first quarter operating results:
Net income of $8.1 million - $.83 per diluted share vs. $.78 per diluted share for prior year quarter (6.4% increase in fully diluted earnings per share)
Revenue increase of 9.4% to $110 million from $101 million for the prior year quarter with same store revenue growth of 5.5%
Retail unit sales increase of 7.8% to 9,753 from 9,049 for the prior year quarter
Average retail sales price decreased $200, or 2%, sequentially
Opened the Company's 116 th dealership in St. Joseph, Missouri
Repurchased 215,846 shares of common stock during the quarter (2.3% of the Company) for $9.4 million
Active customer base now over 54,800
Debt to equity of 46.3% and debt to finance receivables of 25.8%
Allowance for credit losses at 21.5% of finance receivables at July 31, 2012 and at April 30, 2012
"We are pleased with our first quarter results, specifically as related to the significant sequential decrease in our average retail sales price. The market for good used vehicles remains tight and day in and day out our 45 purchasing agents are in the local markets out-working the competition to find the very best vehicles for our customers. Our customers need good, basic transportation and all of our associates are focused on ensuring that our quality vehicles remain affordable. Our average retail sales price decreased by $200, or 2%, from the 4
th quarter of fiscal 2012 and only increased by 1.5% from the first quarter of fiscal 2012 which is remarkable in light of the overall shortage of used vehicles in the market. We believe that we can push even harder to keep affordability levels high by looking at more cars and only selecting the very best at the appropriate prices," said William H. ("Hank") Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer of America's Car-Mart. "Our ability to maintain affordability is even more impressive when considering that we have not extended the relative term of our average contract over the last several years. By keeping our terms short, our customers are able to pay off their contracts quicker and have more equity in their vehicles leading to their ultimate success. Quality and affordability together with Car-Mart's excellent service are the cornerstones of our success and we will continue to push for improvements in all areas of the business as we move forward."
"Our financial performance for the quarter was solid. We continue to see healthy growth at the top line as we add new locations and increase volumes at existing dealerships. The best thing we can do for our customers' success is to continue to push affordability. We obviously think long term and by keeping our sales prices low and our payment terms affordable, our customers and the Company will benefit allowing us to continue to expand and improve our business," said Jeff Williams, Chief Financial Officer of America's Car-Mart. "The fact that we saw a significant sequential decrease in our average retail sales price did have somewhat of a negative short term effect on gross margin dollars, selling, general and administrative expense leveraging and the overall credit loss percentage, but once again, when we look to the long term we are convinced that we are moving in the right direction to maximize customer success and as a result shareholder value. It is a great time for Car-Mart to be adding new locations and increasing our customer count at existing dealerships."