Shares of auto parts provider and distributor Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP) - Get Report took off Tuesday, Nov. 13, after the company announced fiscal third-quarter financial results that beat expectations and raised its guidance for the fiscal year.
Shares of the Roanoke, Va.-based company surged 9.6% on Tuesday to $183.02.
For the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 8, AAP reported adjusted earnings of $189.9 million, or $1.89 a share, up from $105.7 million, or $1.43 in the year-earlier period. Analysts polled by Zacks expected earnings per share of $1.77.
Net sales increased 4.3% to $2.3 billion, while gross profit gained 6.2% to $1 billion. Comparable-store sales gained 4.6%, AAP said.
"AAP comparable store sales increase outpaced O'Reilly Automotive's quarterly performance, suggesting AAP is making progress towards increased competitiveness against their well-run peer," said Talbot Babineau, founder and portfolio manager at Toronto-based hedge fund IBV Capital, which owns shares in AAP.
"We were also pleased to see improved operating leverage and working capital management, which has led to higher cash flows and management allocating $120 million to share repurchases in the quarter," Babineau said.
The company also revealed that its board in August authorized a $600 million share repurchase program, buying back 720,000 shares of its common stock for $119.9 million during the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter, AAP had $480.1 million remaining under its share repurchase program.
AAP also announced a regular quarterly cash dividend of 6 cents a share to be paid on Jan. 4, 2019, to all common shareholders of record as of Dec. 21, 2018.
It also updated its full-year guidance outlook. As of mid-November, AAP now anticipates net sales in the range of $9.5 billion to $9.6 billion, up from $9.3 billion to $9.5 billion, and comparable-store sales of between 2% to 2.5%, up from zero to $1.5%.