O'Reilly Automotive Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 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 Lasser - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Simeon Gutman - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Alan M. Rifkin - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Christopher Horvers - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Matthew J. Fassler - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

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

Scot Ciccarelli - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Michael Baker - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Melissa, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the O'Reilly Automotive Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Release. [Operator Instructions] Thank you.

Mr. Tom McFall, you may begin your conference.

Thomas G. McFall

Thank you, Melissa. 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 conference call 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 estimate, projections, beliefs and assumptions that are not guarantees of future events and the results. Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, 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 Auto Corporation, 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 the O'Reilly Auto Parts second 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.

First, I'd like to congratulate Team O'Reilly for our continuing success in providing the highest levels of customer service in our industry. Despite the pull-forward of a portion of the spring business into the first quarter, along with the difficult consumer spending environment, we were able to achieve a respectable 2.5% comparable store sales increase and generated 20% increase in earnings per share. This marks our 14th straight quarter of increasing adjusted earnings per share in excess of 15%.

Each and every one of us plays an important role in our company's success. Whether your role is in one of our distribution centers, stores, outside sales or here at our headquarters, your contribution is important in ensuring our customer service levels exceed our competitors' and that we operate as productively as possible. Thanks to all of you for your hard work in the second quarter and for the commendable results.

Now on to some details about our quarterly performance. As most of you know, our original comparable store sales guidance for the second quarter was 3% to 5%. And when it became clear that we wouldn't achieve the bottom end of that range, we updated our guidance. Based on these softer-than-expected results, I'll go into a little more detail than we typically disclose concerning the progression and composition of our quarterly comparable store sales increase and give some color on our rationale for the third quarter comparable store sales guidance.

As we discussed on our first quarter conference call, the beginning of the second quarter got off to a slow start as we suspect a good amount of the spring cleanup business was pulled forward from April into the first quarter, as a result of the earlier-than-normal mild temperatures. We expected May sales to return to a more normal seasonal pattern, and they did. Through May, our comparable store sales results were within our expectations. However, business was significantly softer than we expected in the first 3 weeks of June. This slowdown was chain wide, and we cannot point to any specific cause other than to cite that most of retail seem to have a tough June. And after a strong increase in miles driven in May of 2.3%, we suspect June's number, when reported, will be down.

The end of June finished up somewhat better, resulting in our 2.5% comparable store sales increase, coming in at the top end of our revised guidance. From the first quarter to the second quarter, we saw the biggest deceleration in comparable store sales in cold-weather markets, where the early spring weather shifted more business into the first quarter. Since the core stores have a significantly higher percentage of cold-weather market stores, we saw the biggest sequential impact in the core stores. Although these stores did generate positive comparable store sales for the second quarter, the acquired markets continue to generate strong comparable store results with our buildout of the Professional business.

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