Philadelphia-based Pep Boys ( PBY) reported a 32% jump in earnings for its second quarter, up 6 cents a share from last year and beating First Call/Thomson Financial's prediction by 4 cents. The auto repair chain's earnings totaled $16.5 million, or 30 cents a share, up from $12.5 million, or 24 cents a share, last year. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had predicted the company would earn 26 cents a share. Higher merchandise margins and increased sales were a factor in the company's earning growth. Pep Boy's revenue was up 2.2% at $585.8 million vs. the $573.1 million the company earned a year ago. This is Pep Boys' seventh quarter where earnings increased more than 30%, according to Mitchell G. Leibovitz, CEO of the company. Leibovitz remained optimistic for the future as well. "Despite the recent downturn in consumer confidence, we remain optimistic about our prospects for the balance of the year," he said in a press release. Pep Boys also announced Thursday that it has complied with the Securities and Exchange Commission's order to certify its 2001 financial results.