Advance Auto Parts, Inc. a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, announced its financial results for the second quarter ended July 15, 2023.
The company also announced its next CEO and that it has initiated a comprehensive operational and strategic review.
Tom Greco, president and chief executive officer, said, “I want to thank the entire Advance family for their dedication and focus on serving our customers in the second quarter while we continued to execute against our priorities to improve operational performance. Profitability in the quarter was below expectations, primarily related to our inability to price to cover inflation.
“However, we began to see early signs that the strategic investments we are making are beginning to drive an improvement in topline sales and transactions. This is evidenced by positive comparable store sales growth in the final four weeks of the second quarter, which has continued into the third quarter.”
Gene Lee, interim executive chair, continued, “Since expanding my role to serve as interim executive chair and partnering more closely with Tom and the leadership team, I have taken a deeper dive into the business and our strategy.
“As we look to the balance of 2023, we are updating our full-year guidance. We recognize that there is significant work to be done to improve execution across the business and are conducting a comprehensive operational and strategic review to position Advance for long-term success and increase shareholder value. Importantly, as announced separately today, we have identified Advance’s next CEO and look forward to welcoming Shane O’Kelly, an accomplished executive with extensive operational and supply chain experience. The board will work with Shane and the management team to ensure Advance is taking the right steps to build a stronger, more resilient business for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
Second Quarter 2023 Results
Second quarter of 2023 Net sales totaled $2.7 billion, a 0.8% increase compared with the second quarter of the prior year, primarily driven by new store openings. This was partially offset by a decline of comparable store sales of 0.6%.
Gross profit decreased 3.2% to $1.1 billion. Gross profit margin was 42.7% of Net sales compared with 44.5% of Net sales in the second quarter of the prior year. This was primarily driven by higher product costs and supply chain deleverage that were not fully covered by pricing actions, partially offset by a reduction in LIFO-related expenses.
SG&A expenses were $1.0 billion, which were 37.7% of Net sales compared with 36.9% in the second quarter of the prior year. This was primarily driven by inflation within labor and benefit-related expenses.
The company’s Operating income was $134.4 million, or 5.0% of Net sales, compared with 7.6% in the second quarter of the prior year.
The company’s effective tax rate was 25.9%, compared with 24.3% in the second quarter of the prior year. The company’s Diluted EPS was $1.43, compared with $2.38 in the second quarter of the prior year.
Net cash used in operating activities was $164.6 million through the second quarter of 2023 versus $308.5 million provided by operating activities in the same period of the prior year. The decrease was primarily driven by lower Net income and an increase in cash used in working capital, primarily in Accounts payable. Free cash flow through the second quarter of 2023 was an outflow of $309.4 million compared with an inflow of $97.3 million in the same period of the prior year.
All comparisons are based on the same time period in the prior year. Comparable store sales include locations open for 13 complete accounting periods and excludes sales to independently owned Carquest locations.
On August 7, 2023, the company declared a regular cash dividend of $0.25 per share to be paid on October 27, 2023 to all common stockholders of record as of October 13, 2023.
Full Year 2023 Guidance
Tony Iskander, interim chief financial officer, said, “We are updating our full-year guidance, which considers a modest step up in net and comparable store sales growth driven by strengthening of our professional business. However, we are reducing our outlook for operating income margin rate, diluted earnings per share and free cash flow. This reflects additional headwinds anticipated in the back half of the year driven by our ongoing commitment to maintain competitive price targets, impacts from a shift in channel mix and investments in our team to help retain top talent.”
Investor Conference Call
The company will detail its results for the second quarter ended July 15, 2023 via a webcast scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 23, 2023. The webcast will be accessible via the Investor Relations page of the company’s website (ir.AdvanceAutoParts.com).
To join by phone, please pre-register online for dial-in and passcode information. Upon registering, participants will receive a confirmation with call details and a registrant ID. While registration is open through the live call, the company suggests registering a day in advance or at minimum 10 minutes before the start of the call. A replay of the conference call will be available on the company’s Investor Relations website for one year.
About Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers. As of July 15, 2023 Advance operated 4,790 stores and 319 Worldpac branches primarily within the United States, with additional locations in Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company also served 1,307 independently owned Carquest branded stores across these locations in addition to Mexico and various Caribbean islands. Additional information about Advance, including employment opportunities, customer services, and online shopping for parts, accessories and other offerings can be found at www.AdvanceAutoParts.com.