Advance Auto sales, EPS down on weak consumer demand

ROANOKE, Va. — Advance Auto Parts reported an 8.2% decrease in its second quarter earnings per diluted share to $1.34 from $1.46 for the same period last year.

“As we anticipated, our second quarter faced weak consumer demand in both DIY and Commercial which resulted in our performance coming in at the low end of our outlook. The most significant slowdown was within our cold weather markets, principally in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions of the United States,” said Darren Jackson, president and CEO. “We remain encouraged by our positive comp store sales growth during the last period of our quarter, as well as the long-term fundamentals of our industry. As we look to the balance of the year we continue to focus on growing commercial and competing more effectively through investments in areas such as Hub and inventory upgrades, our commercial sales force and the launch of the new advance commercial credit program.”

Total sales for the second quarter decreased 1.3% to $1.46 billion, compared with total sales of $1.48 billion during the second quarter of fiscal 2011. The sales decrease reflected a comparable-store sales decrease of 2.7% versus a comparable-store sales increase of 2.5% during the second quarter of fiscal 2011, partially offset by the net addition of 65 new stores during the past 12 months.

During the second quarter, the company opened 10 stores, including three Autopart International stores.