Advance Auto Parts Says Q2 Is Off to Good Start Despite Tough Q1

Advance Auto Parts missed first quarter top- and bottom-line estimates for Q1 but said that the start of the second quarter was showing good early results.
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Advance Auto Parts  (AAP) - Get Report missed first-quarter earnings estimates by a wide margin, but shares were rising Tuesday after the company reported an optimistic second quarter outlook. 

The Raleigh, North Carolina-based aftermarket parts provider reported first quarter adjusted earnings of 91 cents per share on revenue of $2.7 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.75 per share on revenue of $2.73 billion.

However, the company also said that same store sales in the first four weeks of the second quarter "improved significantly" each week, leading to optimism amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“During the first quarter of 2020, Advance was significantly impacted by COVID-19,” said CEO Tom Greco. "As we disclosed previously, stay at home orders in all of our markets from mid-March to the end of our first quarter ending April 18th resulted in significantly reduced car counts in our professional business and less retail traffic in DIY."

Despite the stall in the first quarter, AAP says that it is still focused on increasing its balance sheet liquidity by $1 billion while also maintaining its recently declared 25 cent per share cash dividend.

Quarter to date, second quarter same store sales are approximately in line with a year ago thanks in part to growth in the company's do-it-yourself omni channel, which grew double digits. 

Advance Auto withdrew its 2020 guidance in April due to coronavirus uncertainty, and despite positive early second quarter signs, the company said that it will not provide further guidance at this time. 

AAP shares were rising more than 6.5% premarket Tuesday.