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» The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack F4Q09 (Qtr End 01/30/2010) Earnings Call Transcript
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» The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack F2Q09 (Qtr End 08/01/09) Earnings Call Transcript
» The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack F3Q08 (Qtr End 11/01/08) Earnings Call Transcript
Before we begin, I would like to remind everyone that this conference call is governed by the language at the bottom of our press release concerning forward-looking statements, as well as SEC Regulation FD. In compliance with these regulations, we are webcasting the conference call on www.investorcalendar.com. For anyone on the webcast who does not have the financial statements, you can access them on our website, www.pepboys.com.I will now turn the call over to Mike Odell, our president and chief executive officer. Mike Odell Good morning. Thank you for joining us today. As you can tell from our press release, we’ve been quite busy this summer. The bright spot is our strategically important service business, which grew 3.8% on a comparable store basis during the second quarter, and an impressive 7.8% in customer count. Our maintenance business was particularly strong. However, the mix shift toward oil changes did lead to a lower average ticket and a lower margin rate. Tires were up 6.7% with a strong performance in July. Our repair business has remained consistently steady with a low single digit comp. For the foreseeable future, we expect vehicle complexity to continue to increase. Therefore, we are focused on our competitive advantage with the skill level of our technicians to perform the medium and heavy work that folks just can’t do themselves. In the meantime, we have also been evolving our pricing and online strategies to make it easy for customers to choose us to do it for them. And our biggest lever is to continue to improve how we engage and care for our customers. As we discussed on our last earnings call, and as you have seen in our competitors earnings releases since then, the rate of sales in the industry has been decelerating. July was a much better month for us, allowing us to achieve flat comparable store sales overall for the second quarter. I do caution, however, that tire sales were sluggish again in August and we expect the environment for tire sales to continue to be choppy this year.
Obviously our termination of the potential deal to go private back in May significantly and positively impacted our second quarter and year to date results. The impact was a net $43 million of pretax, non-operating income. As we also previewed on our last earnings call, we experienced a decline in operating profit for the quarter due to tighter margins in our service business, higher marketing spend, and new store operating expenses. Sanjay will walk you through the details in a few minutes.Our retail business has been challenging and declined 3.8% on a comparable store basis, driven by declining customer count, partially offset by a higher average ticket. Retail margins improved 120 basis points leading to a slight increase in retail margin dollars, but there was not much difference in the performance of parts versus accessories, but as in service, performance was stronger in the warmer weather climates. In the big picture, industry fundamentals remain sold over the long term and mixed in the short term. The demand for maintenance and repair are consistent with the primary driver being miles driven. The recent spike in gas prices could create a short term headwind. Our primary external challenge is consumer spending relative to discretionary and deferrable purchases. Industry response to this short term challenge has squeezed tire margins for the past 19 months. Tire margins declined over 300 basis points year over year, continuing the trend that started in January of ’11. We continue to take sales price increases where the market allows it, but we are not going to raise prices at the expense of market share in this fragmented and competitive marketplace. We have been working with our supplier partners who are seeing lower production input costs, and expect to improve tire margin rates in the back half of the year.
Tire and related merchandise sales account for 17% of our total sales and 36% of service and tire center sales. With our full service capability and great price position, Pep Boys is in a very good position to succeed in service over the long haul as the industry slowly consolidates. Margins in other product categories have remained stable overall except for some mix shift.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com