O'Reilly Automotive's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 26, 2012 11:00 am ET

Executives

Thomas G. McFall - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance

Gregory L. Henslee - Chief Executive Officer and Co-President

Ted F. Wise - Co-President and Chief Operating Officer

Analysts

Michael Baker - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Simeon Gutman - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Kate McShane - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

David Gober - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Gregory S. Melich - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Vincent J. Sinisi - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Alan M. Rifkin - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Scot Ciccarelli - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Daniel R. Wewer - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Colin McGranahan - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC., Research Division

Daniel Hofkin - William Blair & Company L.L.C., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, my name is Shonda, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the O'Reilly Autoparts First Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Tom McFall. You may begin your conference.

Thomas G. McFall

Thank you, Shonda. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our conference call. Before I introduce Greg Henslee, our CEO, we have a brief statement.

The company claims the protection of the Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as expect, believe, anticipate, should, plan, intend, estimate, project, will or similar words. In addition, statements contained within this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements such as statements discussing, among other things, expected growth, store development, integration and expansion strategy, business strategies, future revenue and future performance.

These forward-looking statements are based on estimates, projections, beliefs and assumptions that are not guarantees of future events and results. Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including but not limited to, competition, product demand, the market for auto parts, the economy in general, inflation, consumer debt levels, governmental regulations, the company's increased debt levels, credit ratings on the company's public debt, the company's ability to hire and retain qualified employees, risks associated with the performance of acquired businesses such as CSK, weather, terrorist activities, war and the threat of war.

Actual results may materially differ from anticipated results described or implied in these forward-looking statements. Please refer to the Risk Factors section of the annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, for additional factors that could materially affect the company's financial performance. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

At this time, I'd like to introduce Greg Henslee.

Gregory L. Henslee

Thanks, Tom. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to O'Reilly Autoparts First Quarter Conference Call. Participating on the call with me this morning is, of course, Tom McFall, our Chief Financial Officer; and Ted Wise, our Chief Operating Officer. David O'Reilly, our Executive Chairman, is also present.

It's my pleasure to again congratulate Team O'Reilly on another outstanding performance in the first quarter and to the great start we are off to in 2012. The 7.4% comparable store sales increase we achieved on top of the 5.7% increase we generated in the first quarter of 2011 was a significant accomplishment, and we should all be very proud of our company's performance.

Included in our 7.4% same-store sales gain was the impact of leap day, which we contemplated in our 4% to 6% guidance and have historically included in our comp store sales. Excluding leap day, same-store sales gains were still a very robust 6.1%. We are also pleased to report we saw sequential sales improvement from the fourth quarter in virtually every area of our business.

In historic markets, DIY and do-it-for-me were both strong contributors to our comp store sales increase. In the acquisition markets, our Professional Installer business continues to grow at a high rate. The DIY business was also a positive contributor in these markets, and it incrementally improved throughout the quarter as we got off to a slow start at the beginning of the quarter driven, we believe, primarily by the lower miles driven in the Western U.S. in January, which were negative 1.5% compared to the remainder of the country at a positive 2.4%. For year-to-date February, which is the latest data available, total miles driven have increased 1.8% despite average gas prices having increased by 10% as compared to last year.

It's always difficult to determine the exact impact of weather on sales. But for the quarter, as a whole, the mild winter and early spring weather definitely had a positive impact. In cold weather markets, the mild winter hurt some cold weather categories such as antifreeze, washer solvent and wiper blades. This was more than offset by the positive impact of the early spring weather on categories such as brakes, suspension, oil changes and appearance chemicals as our customers were able to take advantage of the nice weather to perform maintenance on their vehicles earlier in the year than typical. Comp store sales increases were relatively consistent throughout the quarter.

As we look forward to the second quarter, we remain somewhat cautious regarding the sales environment and are setting our comparable store sales guidance at the 3% to 5% range. The beginning of the second quarter has gotten off to a somewhat slower start as we suspect a good amount of spring cleanup business was pulled forward from April into the first quarter as a result of the earlier-than-normal mild temperatures.

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