Advance Auto Parts delivers Q3 sales and margin growth

by | Nov 12, 2019 | 0 comments

Advance Auto Parts, Inc., which serves the aftermarket through its Carquest and Worldpac networks in Canada, announced its financial results for the third quarter ended October 5, 2019.

Advance Auto Parts automotive aftermarket advance auto parts logo

“The Advance team, including our network of Independent Partners, delivered our sixth consecutive quarter of net sales growth in the third quarter as a result of our unrelenting focus on the Customer. We also expanded margins and remained highly disciplined in our approach to cost reduction,” said Tom Greco, President and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to our performance improvements and margin expansion, we continue to invest in critical information technology and supply chain initiatives that are expected to unlock significant productivity over the next several years. Notably, our working capital improvements were driven by our focus on cash management across the board. I am confident in our teams’ ability to drive additional sales and margin progress. We are on track to deliver record free cash flow, resulting in a substantial year over year increase in 2019 versus the prior year. Consistent with our commitment to drive significant value growth for our shareholders, I am also pleased to announce an additional $700.0 million share repurchase authorization.”

Third Quarter Highlights

All figures in USD.

  • Net sales increased 1.6% to $2.3B; Comparable store sales (a) increased 1.2%
  • Operating income increased 11.7% to $172.3M; Adjusted operating income (a) increased 5.9% to $205.1M
  • Diluted EPS increased 12.2% to $1.75; Adjusted Diluted EPS (a) increased 11.1% to $2.10

Year to Date Highlights

  • Net sales increased 1.6% to $7.6B; Comparable store sales (a) increased 1.4%
  • Operating income increased 6.0% to $551.0M; Adjusted operating income (a) increased 3.5% to $645.1M
  • Operating cash flow increased 4.0% to $708.5M
  • Diluted EPS increased 9.4% to $5.46; Adjusted Diluted EPS (a) increased 9.9% to $6.55
(a)Comparable store sales exclude sales to independently owned Carquest locations. 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.

Third Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Net sales for the third quarter of 2019 were $2.3 billion, a 1.6% increase versus the third quarter of the prior year. Comparable store sales for the third quarter of 2019 increased 1.2%.

Advance Auto Parts adjusted gross profit margin was 43.9% of Net sales in the third quarter of 2019, a 39 basis point decrease from the third quarter of 2018. The decrease was primarily driven by an approximate $14.0 million increase in coupon redemptions in connection with the impact of the launch of the Advance Auto Parts enhanced loyalty program initiatives. The headwinds were partially offset by improvements in operational productivity relating to the Company’s ability to leverage its supply chain. The company’s GAAP Gross profit margin decreased to 43.8% from 44.3% in the third quarter of the prior year.

Adjusted SG&A was 35.0% of Net sales in the third quarter of 2019, which improved 74 basis points as compared to the third quarter of 2018. Favorability was driven by improvements in labor related costs, occupancy expenses and insurance claims from continued progress in Team Member safety, which were slightly offset primarily by investments in information technology.

Advance Auto Parts GAAP SG&A of 36.3% of Net sales in the third quarter of 2019 improved from 37.5% in the third quarter of 2018.

The company’s adjusted operating income was $205.1 million in the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 5.9% versus the third quarter of the prior year.

Adjusted operating income margin increased to 8.9% of Net sales for the third quarter, an increase of 36 basis points compared to the third quarter of the prior year. On a GAAP basis, the Company’s Operating income was $172.3 million, or 7.5% of Net sales, an increase of 67 basis points from the third quarter of 2018.

Advance Auto Parts effective tax rate in the third quarter of 2019 was 23.1%, compared to 21.2% in the third quarter of the prior year. The company’s Adjusted Diluted EPS was $2.10 for the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 11.1% compared to the third quarter of the prior year. On a GAAP basis, the Company’s Diluted EPS increased 12.2% in the third quarter of 2019 to $1.75.

Operating cash flow was $708.5 million through the third quarter of 2019 versus $681.5 million in the same period of the prior year, an increase of 4.0%. Free cash flow through the third quarter of 2019 was $539.3 million, a decrease of 6.4% compared to the same period of the prior year, primarily driven by a 61.0% increase in capital spending.

Capital Allocation

During the third quarter, Advance Auto Parts repurchased 1.0 million shares of its common stock at an aggregate amount of $140.0 million under the August 8, 2018 share repurchase program for an average price of $141.54. On August 7, 2019 the Advance Auto Parts Board of Directors authorized a new $400.0 million share repurchase program that replaced the previous $600.0 million share repurchase program. Under this new share repurchase program the Company repurchased 1.4 million shares of its common stock at an aggregate amount of $198.6 million for an average price of $136.77 per share. At the end of the third quarter of 2019, the Company had $201.4 million remaining under the share repurchase program. On November 8, 2019, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized $700.0 million as an addition to the existing share repurchase program.

On November 8, 2019, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share to be paid on January 3, 2020 to all common shareholders of record as of December 20, 2019.

Investor Conference Call

The Company will discussed its results for the third quarter of 2019 via a webcast. The webcast is accessible via the Investor Relations page of Advance Auto Parts website (www.AdvanceAutoParts.com).

Advance Auto Parts, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
(in thousands, except per share data)
(unaudited)
        
 Twelve Weeks Ended Forty Weeks Ended
 October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
 October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
Net sales$2,312,106  $2,274,982  $7,596,389  $7,475,482 
Cost of sales, including purchasing and warehousing costs1,300,180  1,268,055  4,270,412  4,184,713 
Gross profit1,011,926  1,006,927  3,325,977  3,290,769 
Selling, general and administrative expenses839,598  852,686  2,774,936  2,770,747 
Operating income172,328  154,241  551,041  520,022 
Other, net:       
Interest expense(8,443) (13,076) (32,062) (43,613)
Other (expense) income, net(3,145) 5,755  (1,272) 8,998 
Total other, net(11,588) (7,321) (33,334) (34,615)
Income before provision for income taxes160,740  146,920  517,707  485,407 
Provision for income taxes37,071  31,077  126,718  115,002 
Net income$123,669  $115,843  $390,989  $370,405 
        
Basic earnings per common share$1.76  $1.57  $5.48  $5.01 
Weighted average common shares outstanding70,381  73,888  71,351  73,974 
        
Diluted earnings per common share$1.75  $1.56  $5.46  $4.99 
Weighted average common shares outstanding70,664  74,190  71,643  74,212 

NOTE: These preliminary condensed consolidated statements of operations have been prepared on a basis consistent with the Company’s previously prepared statements of operations filed with the SEC, but do not include the footnotes required by GAAP.

Advance Auto Parts, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(in thousands)
(unaudited)
 Forty Weeks Ended
 October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
Cash flows from operating activities:   
Net income$390,989  $370,405 
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:   
Depreciation and amortization179,565  183,584 
Share-based compensation28,038  19,265 
Provision for deferred income taxes7,653  17,029 
Other, net16,497  7,953 
Net change in:   
Receivables, net(95,280) (93,595)
Inventories(24,985) (22,862)
Accounts payable227,822  131,572 
Accrued expenses(29,672) 122,779 
Other assets and liabilities, net7,919  (54,627)
Net cash provided by operating activities708,546  681,503 
Cash flows from investing activities:   
Purchases of property and equipment(169,224) (105,132)
Proceeds from sales of property and equipment8,714  1,450 
Net cash used in investing activities(160,510) (103,682)
Cash flows from financing activities:   
Decrease in bank overdrafts(59,351) (11,973)
Redemption of senior unsecured notes(310,047)  
Dividends paid(17,185) (17,819)
Proceeds from the issuance of common stock2,358  2,290 
Tax withholdings related to the exercise of stock appreciation rights(162) (490)
Repurchases of common stock(486,381) (126,482)
Other, net(96) 814 
Net cash used in financing activities(870,864) (153,660)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash27  (1,092)
    
Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents(322,801) 423,069 
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period896,527  546,937 
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period$573,726  $970,006 

NOTE: These preliminary condensed consolidated statements of cash flows have been prepared on a consistent basis with the Company’s previously prepared statements of cash flows filed with the SEC, but do not include the footnotes required by GAAP.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The Company’s financial results include certain financial measures not derived in accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP financial measures should not be used as a substitute for GAAP financial measures, or considered in isolation, for the purpose of analyzing operating performance, financial position or cash flows. Management presented these non-GAAP financial measures as they believe that the presentation of its financial results that exclude (1) transformation expenses under our strategic business plan; (2) non-operational expenses associated with the integration of General Parts International, Inc. (“GPI”) and store closure and consolidation; (3) non-cash charges related to the acquired GPI intangible assets; (4) other non-recurring adjustments; and (5) nonrecurring impact of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”), is useful and indicative of its base operations because the expenses vary from period to period in terms of size, nature and significance and/or relate to the integration of GPI and store closure and consolidation activity in excess of historical levels. These measures assist in comparing current operating results with past periods and with the operational performance of other companies in its industry. The disclosure of these measures allows investors to evaluate the Company’s performance using the same measures management uses in developing internal budgets and forecasts and in evaluating management’s compensation. Included below is a description of the expenses that the Company have determined are not normal, recurring cash operating expenses necessary to operate its business and the rationale for why providing these measures is useful to investors as a supplement to the GAAP measures.

Transformation Expenses — Management expects to recognize a significant amount of transformation expenses over the next several years as they transition from integration of the Advance Auto Parts/Carquest businesses to a plan that involves a more holistic and integrated transformation of the entire Company, including Worldpac and Autopart International. These expenses will include, but not be limited to, restructuring costs, store closure costs and third-party professional services and other significant costs to integrate and streamline operating structure across the enterprise. Management is focused on several areas throughout Advance, such as supply chain and information technology.

GPI Integration and Store Closure and Consolidation Expenses — The multi-year plan to integrate the operations of GPI that the Company acquired in 2014 with Advance Auto Parts substantially ended in 2018. Due to the size of this acquisition, the Company considered these expenses to be outside of its base business. Management believed providing additional information in the form of non-GAAP measures that excluded these costs was beneficial to the users of its financial statements in evaluating the operating performance of its base business and the sustainability once the integration was complete. In addition to integration expenses, the Company incurred store closure and consolidation expenses that consisted of expenses associated with plans to convert and consolidate the Carquest stores acquired from GPI. While periodic store closures are common, these closures represented a significant program outside of the Company’s typical market evaluation process. The Company believes it was useful to provide additional non-GAAP measures that excluded these costs to provide investors greater comparability of its base business and core operating performance.

U.S. Tax Reform — On December 22, 2017, the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law. The Act amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by, among other things, permanently lowering the corporate tax rate to 21% from the existing maximum rate of 35%, implementing a territorial tax system and imposing a one-time repatriation tax on deemed repatriated earnings of foreign subsidiaries. During the third quarter of 2018, and in conjunction with the completion of the Company’s 2017 U.S. income tax return, the Company identified a change in estimate, in accordance with SAB 118, to amounts previously estimated for the remeasurement of the net deferred tax liability and nonrecurring repatriation tax on accumulated earnings foreign subsidiaries.

Reconciliation of Adjusted Net Income and Adjusted EPS:      
  Twelve Weeks Ended  Forty Weeks Ended
(in thousands, except per share data) October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
  October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
Net income (GAAP)$123,669  $115,843  $390,989  $370,405 
Cost of sales adjustments:       
Transformation expenses2,991  513  3,272  5,839 
Other adjustment (a)    13,010   
SG&A adjustments:       
Transformation expenses23,386  28,360  56,633  63,214 
GPI integration and store closure and consolidation expenses  1,768    4,706 
GPI amortization of acquired intangible assets6,362  8,802  21,157  29,268 
Other income adjustment (b)    10,756   
Provision for income taxes on adjustments (c)(8,185) (9,664) (26,207) (25,242)
Impact of the Act  (5,665)   (5,665)
Adjusted net income (Non-GAAP)$148,223  $139,957  $469,610  $442,525 
        
Diluted earnings per share (GAAP)$1.75  $1.56  $5.46  $4.99 
Adjustments, net of tax0.35  0.33  1.09  0.97 
Adjusted EPS (Non-GAAP)$2.10  $1.89  $6.55  $5.96 
(a)During the sixteen weeks ended April 20, 2019, the Company made an out-of-period correction, which increased Cost of sales by $13.0 million, related to received not invoiced inventory.
(b)During the sixteen weeks ended April 20, 2019, the Company incurred charges relating to a make-whole provision and debt issuance costs of $10.1 million and $0.7 million resulting from the early redemption of its 2020 senior unsecured notes.
(c)The income tax impact of non-GAAP adjustments is calculated using the estimated tax rate in effect for the respective non-GAAP adjustments.
Reconciliation of Adjusted Gross Profit:       
 Twelve Weeks Ended Forty Weeks Ended
(in thousands)October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
 October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
Gross profit (GAAP)$1,011,926  $1,006,927  $3,325,977  $3,290,769 
Gross profit adjustments2,991  513  16,282  5,839 
Adjusted gross profit (Non-GAAP)$1,014,917  $1,007,440  $3,342,259  $3,296,608 
Reconciliation of Adjusted Selling, General and Administrative Expenses:    
        Twelve Weeks Ended Forty Weeks Ended
(in thousands)       October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
 October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
SG&A (GAAP)       $839,598  $852,686  $2,774,936  $2,770,747 
SG&A adjustments       (29,748) (38,930) (77,790) (97,188)
Adjusted SG&A (Non-GAAP)       $809,850  $813,756  $2,697,146  $2,673,559 
Reconciliation of Adjusted Operating Income:      
 Twelve Weeks Ended Forty Weeks Ended
(in thousands)October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
 October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
Operating income (GAAP)$172,328  $154,241  $551,041  $520,022 
Cost of sales and SG&A adjustments32,739  39,443  94,072  103,027 
Adjusted operating income (Non-GAAP)$205,067  $193,684  $645,113  $623,049 

NOTE: Adjusted gross profit, Adjusted gross profit margin (calculated by dividing Adjusted gross profit by Net sales), Adjusted SG&A, Adjusted SG&A as a percentage of Net sales, Adjusted operating income and Adjusted operating income margin (calculated by dividing Adjusted operating income by Net sales) are non-GAAP measures. Management believes these non-GAAP measures are important metrics in assessing the overall performance of the business and utilizes these metrics in its ongoing reporting. On that basis, management believes it is useful to provide these metrics to investors and prospective investors to evaluate the Company’s operating performance across periods adjusting for these items (refer to the reconciliations of non-GAAP adjustments above). These non-GAAP measures might not be calculated in the same manner as, and thus might not be comparable to, similarly titled measures reported by other companies. Non-GAAP measures should not be used by investors or third parties as the sole basis for formulating investment decisions, as they may exclude a number of important cash and non-cash recurring items.

Reconciliation of Free Cash Flow:   
 Forty Weeks Ended
(In thousands)October 5, 
2019
 October 6, 
2018
Cash flows from operating activities$708,546  $681,503 
Purchases of property and equipment(169,224) (105,132)
Free cash flow$539,322  $576,371 

NOTE: Management uses Free cash flow as a measure of its liquidity and believes it is a useful indicator to investors or potential investors of the Company’s ability to implement growth strategies and service debt. Free cash flow is a non-GAAP measure and should be considered in addition to, but not as a substitute for, information contained in the Company’s condensed consolidated statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity.

Adjusted Debt to Adjusted EBITDAR:   
 Four Quarters Ended
(In thousands, except adjusted debt to adjusted EBITDAR ratio)October 5, 
2019
 December 29, 
2018
Total debt$747,136  $1,045,930 
Add: Operating lease liabilities (a)2,441,221  2,425,325 
Adjusted debt3,188,357  3,471,255 
    
Operating income635,294  604,275 
Add: Adjustments (b)117,778  107,867 
Depreciation and amortization234,165  238,184 
Adjusted EBITDA987,237  950,326 
Rent expense555,360  553,377 
Share-based compensation36,533  27,760 
Adjusted EBITDAR$1,579,130  $1,531,463 
    
Adjusted Debt to Adjusted EBITDAR (c)2.0  2.3 
(a) On December 30, 2018 the Company recorded operating lease liabilities of $2.4 billion upon adoption of Accounting Standards Update 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) (“ASU 2016-2”). As of October 5, 2019, $2.4 billion of operating lease liabilities were recorded in the Company’s condensed consolidated balance sheet.
(b) The adjustments to the four quarters ended October 5, 2019 and December 29, 2018 include GPI integration, store consolidation costs and transformation expenses.
(c) Ratio is derived by utilizing the operating lease liabilities recorded by the Company upon adoption of ASU 2016-02 rather than utilizing estimated capitalized lease obligations (six times rent expense), which were $3.3 billion as of October 5, 2019 and December 29, 2018. For comparability purposes, the Adjusted Debt to Adjusted EBITDAR ratio calculated using the historical estimated capitalized lease obligations would be 2.6 and 2.9 as of October 5, 2019 and December 29, 2018.

NOTE: Management believes its Adjusted Debt to Adjusted EBITDAR ratio (“leverage ratio”) is a key financial metric for debt securities, as reviewed by rating agencies, and believes its debt levels are best analyzed using this measure. The Company’s goal is to maintain a 2.5 times leverage ratio and investment grade rating. The Company’s credit rating directly impacts the interest rates on borrowings under its existing credit facility and could impact the Company’s ability to obtain additional funding. If the Company was unable to maintain its investment grade rating this could negatively impact future performance and limit growth opportunities. Similar measures are utilized in the calculation of the financial covenants and ratios contained in the Company’s financing arrangements. The leverage ratio calculated by the Company is a non-GAAP measure and should not be considered a substitute for debt to net earnings, net earnings or debt as determined in accordance with GAAP. The Company adjusts the calculation to remove rent expense and to add back the Company’s existing operating lease liabilities related to their right-of-use assets to provide a more meaningful comparison with the Company’s peers and to account for differences in debt structures and leasing arrangements. The Company’s calculation of its leverage ratio might not be calculated in the same manner as, and thus might not be comparable to, similarly titled measures by other companies.

Store Information:

During the forty weeks ended October 5, 2019, 16 stores and branches were opened and 82 were closed or consolidated, resulting in a total of 5,043 stores and branches as of October 5, 2019, compared to a total of 5,109 stores and branches as of December 29, 2018.

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