AutoZone 3rd Quarter Same Store Sales Increase 2.3%; EPS Increases 13.1% to $9.57

Memphis, Tennessee, UNITED STATES


MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) today reported net sales of $2.5 billion for its third quarter (12 weeks) ended May 9, 2015, an increase of 6.5% from the third quarter of fiscal 2014 (12 weeks). Domestic same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 2.3% for the quarter.

Net income for the quarter increased 8.4% over the same period last year to $309.1 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 13.1% to $9.57 per share from $8.46 per share in the year-ago quarter.

For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.3% (versus 52.0% for the same period last year). The improvement in gross margin was attributable to higher merchandise margins, partially offset by the impact from Interamerican Motor Corporation (IMC) which was acquired during September, 2014 (-26 bps). Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 31.6% (versus 31.5% for the same period last year). The increase in operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, was primarily due to the impact of the IMC acquisition.

Under its share repurchase program, AutoZone repurchased 763 thousand shares of its common stock for $515 million during the third quarter, at an average price of $675 per share. Year to date, the Company has repurchased 1.377 million shares of its common stock for $841 million, at an average price of $611 per share. At the end of the third quarter, the Company had $778 million remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.

The Company's inventory increased 10.7% over the same period last year, driven by increased product placement, new stores, and the acquisition of IMC. Inventory per location was $629 thousand versus $594 thousand last year and $631 thousand last quarter. The acquisition of IMC increased total inventory per location by $13 thousand this quarter. Net inventory, defined as merchandise inventories less accounts payable, on a per location basis was a negative $68 thousand versus negative $84 thousand last year and negative $47 thousand last quarter.

"We are pleased to report our thirty-fifth consecutive quarter of double digit earnings per share growth. AutoZoners across the company remain committed to providing superior service to our customers and that dedication has resulted in consistent, solid performance. We continued to diligently work on our inventory availability initiatives, including expanding our multi-deliveries per week to test stores and opening two additional mega hub store locations. Also, the expanded hard parts inventory we have deployed throughout our chain over the last year continues to be a contributor to our sales success. While we have continued to strategically invest in our business in order to support our growth, we remain committed to our disciplined approach to growing operating earnings and utilizing our capital effectively," said Bill Rhodes, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

During the quarter ended May 9, 2015, AutoZone opened 27 new stores and relocated one store in the U.S., opened seven new stores in Mexico, and opened two new stores in Brazil. IMC relocated its East Coast distribution center and related branch during the third quarter. As of May 9, 2015, the Company had 5,069 stores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in the U.S., 418 stores in Mexico, 18 IMC branches, and seven stores in Brazil for a total count of 5,512.

AutoZone is the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. Each AutoZone store carries an extensive product line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Many stores also have a commercial sales program that provides commercial credit and prompt delivery of parts and other products to local, regional and national repair garages, dealers, service stations, and public sector accounts. IMC branches carry an extensive line of original equipment quality import replacement parts. AutoZone also sells the ALLDATA brand diagnostic and repair software through www.alldata.com. Additionally, we sell automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products through www.autozone.com, and accessories and performance parts through www.autoanything.com, and our commercial customers can make purchases through www.autozonepro.com and www.imcparts.net. AutoZone does not derive revenue from automotive repair or installation.

AutoZone will host a conference call this morning, Tuesday, May 26, 2015, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) to discuss its third quarter results. Investors may listen to the conference call live and review supporting slides on the AutoZone corporate website, www.autozoneinc.com by clicking "Investor Relations," "Conference Calls." The call will also be available by dialing (210) 839-8923. A replay of the call and slides will be available on AutoZone's website. In addition, a replay of the call will be available by dialing (203) 369-1211 through Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

This release includes certain financial information not derived in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). These non-GAAP measures include adjustments to reflect return on invested capital, adjusted debt, adjusted debt to EBITDAR, and cash flow before share repurchases. The Company believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP measures provides information that is useful to investors as it indicates more clearly the Company's comparative year-to-year operating results, but this information should not be considered a substitute for any measures derived in accordance with GAAP. Management targets the Company's capital structure in order to maintain its investment grade credit ratings and manages cash flows available for share repurchase by monitoring cash flows before share repurchases, as shown on the attached tables. The Company believes this is important information for the management of its debt levels and share repurchases. We have included a reconciliation of this additional information to the most comparable GAAP measures in the accompanying reconciliation tables.

Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements typically use words such as "believe," "anticipate," "should," "intend," "plan," "will," "expect," "estimate," "project," "positioned," "strategy" and similar expressions. These are based on assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors that we believe to be appropriate. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including without limitation: credit market conditions; the impact of recessionary conditions; competition; product demand; the ability to hire and retain qualified employees; consumer debt levels; inflation; weather; raw material costs of our suppliers; energy prices; war and the prospect of war, including terrorist activity; construction delays; access to available and feasible financing; and changes in laws or regulations. Certain of these risks are discussed in more detail in the "Risk Factors" section contained in Item 1A under Part 1 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 30, 2014, and these Risk Factors should be read carefully. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results; developments and business decisions may differ from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements, and events described above and in the "Risk Factors" could materially and adversely affect our business. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. Except as required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Actual results may materially differ from anticipated results.

       
AutoZone's 3rd Quarter Highlights - Fiscal 2015  
       
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations  
3rd Quarter, FY2015  
(in thousands, except per share data)      
  GAAP Results  
  12 Weeks Ended 12 Weeks Ended  
  May 9, 2015 May 10, 2014  
       
Net sales  $ 2,493,021  $ 2,341,545  
Cost of sales 1,190,232 1,124,587  
Gross profit  1,302,789  1,216,958  
Operating, SG&A expenses 788,840 738,006  
Operating profit (EBIT)  513,949  478,952  
Interest expense, net 31,779 36,162  
Income before taxes  482,170  442,790  
Income taxes 173,099 157,633  
Net income  $ 309,071  $ 285,157  
Net income per share:      
Basic  $ 9.77  $ 8.62  
Diluted  $ 9.57  $ 8.46  
Weighted average shares outstanding:      
Basic 31,643 33,073  
Diluted 32,301 33,716  
       
       
Year-To-Date 3rd Quarter, FY2015      
(in thousands, except per share data) GAAP Results  
  36 Weeks Ended 36 Weeks Ended  
  May 9, 2015 May 10, 2014  
       
Net sales  $ 6,896,936  $ 6,425,617  
Cost of sales 3,297,453 3,085,927  
Gross profit  3,599,483  3,339,690  
Operating, SG&A expenses 2,315,704 2,139,668  
Operating profit (EBIT)  1,283,779  1,200,022  
Interest expense, net 103,374 118,083  
Income before taxes  1,180,405  1,081,939  
Income taxes 421,301 385,865  
Net income  $ 759,104  $ 696,074  
Net income per share:      
Basic  $ 23.80  $ 20.71  
Diluted  $ 23.33  $ 20.34  
Weighted average shares outstanding:      
Basic 31,893 33,610  
Diluted 32,534 34,217  
       
Selected Balance Sheet Information      
(in thousands)      
  May 9, 2015 May 10, 2014 August 30, 2014
       
Cash and cash equivalents  $ 153,288  $ 145,349  $ 124,485
Merchandise inventories  3,468,249  3,133,350  3,140,100
Current assets  3,950,490  3,587,844  3,580,612
Property and equipment, net  3,426,388  3,193,289  3,310,475
Total assets  8,032,440  7,371,802  7,517,858
Accounts payable  3,845,129  3,574,921  3,609,199
Current liabilities*  4,693,102  4,603,952  4,541,094
Total debt*  4,533,329  4,378,400  4,343,800
Stockholders' (deficit)  (1,643,245)  (1,808,230)  (1,621,857)
Working capital  (742,612)  (1,016,108)  (960,482)
       
* Current liabilities and total debt both include short-term borrowings of $0 at May 9, 2015; $215,156 at May 10, 2014 and $180,910 at August 30, 2014. These amounts represent current debt maturities that are in excess of our revolving credit facility available capacity.
         
         
Adjusted Debt / EBITDAR (Trailing 4 Qtrs)        
(in thousands, except adjusted debt to EBITDAR ratio)        
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations May 9, 2015 May 10, 2014    
Net income  $ 1,132,774  $ 1,067,273    
Add: Interest  152,800  178,979    
 Taxes  628,406  589,990    
EBIT  1,913,980  1,836,242    
         
Add: Depreciation and amortization  262,192  243,605    
 Rent expense  267,247  254,606    
 Share-based expense  40,093  40,660    
EBITDAR  $ 2,483,512  $ 2,375,113    
         
Debt  $ 4,533,329  $ 4,378,400    
Capital lease obligations  132,016  106,214    
Add: rent x 6   1,603,482  1,527,636    
Adjusted debt  $ 6,268,827  $ 6,012,250    
         
Adjusted debt to EBITDAR  2.5  2.5    
         
         
Selected Cash Flow Information        
(in thousands)        
  12 Weeks Ended 12 Weeks Ended 36 Weeks Ended 36 Weeks Ended
  May 9, 2015 May 10, 2014 May 9, 2015 May 10, 2014
         
Depreciation and amortization  $ 62,299  $ 58,132  $ 183,211  $ 172,286
Capital spending  $ 106,571  $ 101,763  $ 292,745  $ 261,724
         
Cash flow before share repurchases:        
Increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents  $ 1,749  $ 5,594  $ 28,803  $ 3,158
Subtract increase/(decrease) in debt  85,029  56,716  189,529  191,400
Add back share repurchases  515,251  419,999  840,918  911,537
Cash flow before share repurchases and changes in debt  $ 431,971  $ 368,877  $ 680,192  $ 723,295
         
         
Other Selected Financial Information        
(in thousands, except ROIC)        
  May 9, 2015 May 10, 2014    
         
Cumulative share repurchases ($ since fiscal 1998)  $ 14,871,688  $ 13,843,095    
Remaining share repurchase authorization ($)  $ 778,312  $ 306,905    
         
Cumulative share repurchases (shares since fiscal 1998)  138,258  136,525    
         
Shares outstanding, end of quarter  31,239  32,613    
         
  Trailing 4 Quarters    
  May 9, 2015 May 10, 2014    
Net income  $ 1,132,774  $ 1,067,273    
Adjustments:        
 Interest expense  152,800  178,979    
 Rent expense  267,247  254,606    
 Tax effect*  (149,957)  (154,356)    
After-tax return  1,402,864  1,346,502    
         
Average debt**  4,425,186  4,212,337    
Average stockholders' deficit**  (1,640,964)  (1,691,875)    
Add: Rent x 6  1,603,482  1,527,636    
Average capital lease obligations**  121,705  105,496    
Pre-tax invested capital  $ 4,509,409  $ 4,153,594    
         
Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) 31.1% 32.4%    
         
* Effective tax rate over trailing four quarters ended May 9, 2015 is 35.7% and May 10, 2014 is 35.6%.
** All averages are computed based on trailing 5 quarter balances.
               
               
AutoZone's 3rd Quarter Fiscal 2015
Selected Operating Highlights
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
Location Count & Square Footage
               
  12 Weeks Ended   12 Weeks Ended   36 Weeks Ended   36 Weeks Ended
  May 9, 2015   May 10, 2014   May 9, 2015   May 10, 2014
AutoZone Domestic stores (Domestic):              
Store count:              
Beginning domestic stores  5,042    4,871    4,984    4,836
Stores opened  27    30    86    65
Stores closed  --    --    1    -- 
Ending domestic stores  5,069    4,901    5,069    4,901
               
Relocated stores  1    4    3    7
               
Stores with commercial programs  4,007    3,732    4,007    3,732
               
Square footage (in thousands) 33,025   31,863   33,025   31,863
               
AutoZone Mexico stores:              
Stores opened   7    7    16    12
Total stores in Mexico  418    374    418    374
               
AutoZone Brazil stores:              
Stores opened   2    --    2    1
Total stores in Brazil  7    4    7    4
               
Total AutoZone stores  5,494    5,279    5,494    5,279
Square footage (in thousands)  36,157    34,627    36,157    34,627
Square footage per store  6,581    6,559    6,581    6,559
               
IMC branches:              
Branches opened  --    --    1    --
Branches acquired  --    --    17    --
Total IMC branches  18    --    18    --
               
Total locations chainwide  5,512    5,279    5,512    5,279
               
Sales Statistics              
($ in thousands, except sales per average square foot)              
  12 Weeks Ended   12 Weeks Ended   Trailing 4 Quarters   Trailing 4 Quarters
Total AutoZone stores (Domestic, Mexico and Brazil) May 9, 2015   May 10, 2014   May 9, 2015   May 10, 2014
Sales per average store  $ 432    $ 429    $ 1,761    $ 1,767
Sales per average square foot   $ 66    $ 65    $ 268    $ 270
               
Total Auto Parts (Domestic, Mexico, Brazil, and IMC)               
Total auto parts sales  $ 2,404,469    $ 2,258,413    $ 9,586,307    $ 9,177,184
 % Increase vs. LY  6.5%   6.1%   4.5%   7.0%
               
Domestic Commercial (Excludes IMC)              
Total domestic commercial sales   $ 452,153    $ 406,038    $ 1,752,211    $ 1,586,706
 % Increase vs. LY 11.4%   14.0%   10.4%   14.6%
               
All Other (ALLDATA, E-Commerce, and AutoAnything)              
All other sales  $ 88,552    $ 83,132    $ 360,326    $ 343,847
 % Increase vs. LY  6.5%   6.9%   4.8%   45.8%
               
  12 Weeks Ended   12 Weeks Ended   36 Weeks Ended   36 Weeks Ended
  May 9, 2015   May 10, 2014   May 9, 2015   May 10, 2014
Domestic same store sales  2.3%   4.0%   3.4%   3.1%
               
Inventory Statistics (Total Locations)              
  as of   as of        
  May 9, 2015   May 10, 2014        
Accounts payable/inventory  110.9%   114.1%        
               
($ in thousands)              
Inventory  $ 3,468,249    $ 3,133,350        
Inventory per location  $ 629    $ 594        
Net inventory (net of payables)  $ (376,880)    $ (441,571)        
Net inventory / per location  $ (68)    $ (84)        
               
  Trailing 5 Quarters      
  May 9, 2015   May 10, 2014        
Inventory turns  1.4 x  1.5 x      

        

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