Advance Auto Parts, Inc., a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider, third quarter financial results showed net sales up, comp store sales down, and the impact of a move to increase owned-brand penetration.
Advance operated 4,747 stores and 313 Worldpac branches primarily within the United States, with additional locations in Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company also served 1,335 independently owned Carquest branded stores across these locations in addition to Mexico and various Caribbean islands.
“I want to thank the entire family of Advance team members as well as our growing network of independent partners for their continued dedication,” said Tom Greco, president and chief executive officer.
“We continue to execute our strategy to drive full year net sales growth and adjusted operating income margin expansion while returning excess cash to shareholders. In the third quarter, net sales grew 0.8% which benefited from improvements in strategic pricing and new stores, while comparable store sales declined by 0.7% in-line with previous guidance. Our deliberate move to increase owned brand penetration, which carries a lower price point, reduced net sales by approximately 80 basis points and comp sales by approximately 90 basis points. We also continued to invest in our business while returning approximately $860 million in cash to our shareholders through the first three quarters of 2022.
“We’re reiterating our full year guidance that implies 20 to 40 basis points of adjusted operating income margin expansion, despite margins contracting in the third quarter. 2022 will be the second consecutive year that we have grown adjusted operating income margins in a highly inflationary environment. Our industry has proven to be resilient, and the fundamental drivers of demand remain positive. While we continue to execute against our long-term strategic plan, we’re not satisfied with our relative topline performance versus the industry this year and are taking measured, deliberate actions to accelerate growth.”
Third Quarter 2022 Results (1)
- Net sales increased 0.8% to $2.6 billion
- Comparable store sales (2) decreased 0.7%
- Gross profit decreased 0.2% to $1.2 billion; Adjusted gross profit (3) increased 2.9% to $1.2 billion
- Gross profit margin decreased 44 basis points to 44.7% of Net sales; Adjusted gross profit margin (3) increased 98 basis points to 47.2% of Net sales
- SG&A increased 5.2% to $1.0 billion; Adjusted SG&A (3) increased 5.4% to $989.3 million
- SG&A was 38.0% of Net sales compared with 36.4% of Net sales; Adjusted SG&A (3) was 37.5% of Net sales compared with 35.8% of Net sales
- Operating income decreased 22.7% to $177.2 million; Adjusted operating income (3) decreased 5.8% to $258.0 million
- Operating income margin was 6.7% of Net sales compared with 8.7% of Net sales; Adjusted operating income margin (3) was 9.8% of Net sales compared with 10.4% of Net sales
- Diluted EPS decreased 31.3% to $1.84; Adjusted diluted EPS (3) decreased 11.5% to $2.84
- Net cash provided by operating activities through the third quarter was $483.1 million; Free cash flow (3) through the third quarter was an inflow of $149.5 million
- Opened 37 new store and branch locations in the third quarter
Third quarter of 2022 Net sales totaled $2.6 billion, a 0.8% increase compared with the third quarter of the prior year, primarily driven by strategic pricing and new store openings. Comparable store sales for the third quarter of 2022 decreased 0.7%, which was impacted by increased owned brand penetration, which has a lower price point than national brands.
The company’s GAAP Gross profit decreased 0.2% to $1.2 billion. Adjusted gross profit increased 2.9% to $1.2 billion. The company’s GAAP Gross profit margin of 44.7% of Net sales decreased 44 basis points compared with the third quarter of the prior year. Adjusted gross profit margin increased 98 basis points to 47.2% of Net sales, compared with 46.2% in the third quarter of 2021. This was primarily driven by improvements in strategic pricing and product mix as well as owned brand expansion. These headwinds were partially offset by continued inflationary product costs and unfavorable channel mix.
The company’s GAAP SG&A was 38.0% of Net sales compared with 36.4% in the third quarter of 2021. Adjusted SG&A increased to $989.3 million from $938.2 million in the third quarter of the prior year. On an adjusted basis, SG&A was 37.5% of Net sales, which deleveraged 166 basis points compared with the third quarter of 2021. This was primarily driven by inflation in store labor, medical and fuel costs.
On a GAAP basis, the company’s Operating income was $177.2 million, or 6.7% of Net sales, compared with 8.7% in the third quarter of 2021. The company’s Adjusted operating income was $258.0 million, a decrease of 5.8% versus the third quarter of the prior year. Adjusted operating income margin decreased 68 basis points to 9.8% of Net sales compared with 10.4% of Net sales in the third quarter of the prior year.
The company’s effective tax rate was 24.7%, compared with 23.7% in the third quarter of 2021. On a GAAP basis, the company’s Diluted EPS was $1.84, a decrease of 31.3% from $2.68 in the third quarter of 2021. The company’s Adjusted Diluted EPS was $2.84, a decrease of 11.5% from $3.21 in the third quarter of the prior year. On both a GAAP and adjusted basis, the company’s diluted EPS was negatively affected by approximately $0.20 as a result of foreign currency impact in the quarter.
Net cash provided by operating activities was $483.1 million through the third quarter of 2022 versus $924.9 million in the same period of the prior year. The decrease was primarily driven by lower Net income and working capital. Free cash flow through the third quarter of 2022 was $149.5 million compared with $734.0 million in the same period of the prior year.
(1) All comparisons are based on the same time period in the prior year.
(2) Comparable store sales include locations open for 13 complete accounting periods and excludes sales to independently owned Carquest locations.
(3) For a better understanding of the company’s adjusted results, refer to the reconciliation of non-GAAP adjustments in the accompanying financial tables included herein.
During the third quarter of 2022, the company repurchased 0.4 million shares of its common stock at an aggregate cost of $75.0 million, or an average price of $168.93 per share, in connection with its share repurchase program. At the end of the third quarter of 2022, the company had $1.0 billion remaining under the share repurchase program.
On November 7, 2022, the company declared a regular cash dividend of $1.50 per share to be paid on January 3, 2023 to all common stockholders of record as of December 16, 2022.
Full Year 2022 Guidance
Jeff Shepherd, executive vice president and chief financial officer, commented, “As we begin the final quarter of 2022, we’re reiterating our full year guidance for net sales growth, comparable store sales and adjusted operating income margin expansion. In addition, we’re updating our adjusted diluted EPS guidance range to reflect the impact of foreign currency. Finally, getting more parts closer to our customers is a top priority. Therefore, we’re making strategic inventory investments to improve our availability, which is an important step to accelerate growth in 2023. Inventory is the primary driver of our reduced free cash flow guidance.”
Investor Conference Call
The company detailed its results for the third quarter ended October 8, 2022 via a webcast scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. The webcast will be accessible via the Investor Relations page of the company’s website (ir.AdvanceAutoParts.com).
A replay of the conference call will be available on the company’s Investor Relations website for one year.