AP News

Advance Auto warns of lower 3Q earnings

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Shares of auto part retailer Advance Auto Parts fell 3.9 percent Monday after the company warned that its third-quarter earnings per share will fall more than 14 percent when it announces results Nov. 8.

Advance also expects a 0.5 percent decrease in third-quarter revenue because of continued soft sales, and the Roanoke, Va., company lowered its full-year earnings projection again.

The company's shares fell $2.65 to $65.78 in Monday morning trading. They are trading toward the low end of their 52-week range of $60.87 to $93.08.

Advance said it expects third-quarter earnings per share to be $1.21, which is 14.2 percent less than the $1.41 the company earned a year earlier. Revenue will drop to $1.46 billion, the company said in a statement. Comparable store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, were expected to fall 1.8 percent, partly offset by the opening of 82 more stores in the past year.

Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting third-quarter earnings of $1.35 per share on revenue of $1.47 billion.

The company said its lower earnings per share were driven by falling sales, as well as increased promotions and advertising aimed at driving up consumer traffic.

Advance said its operating performance will be constrained for the rest of the year due to lower sales in cold-weather markets and soft consumer spending as people defer maintenance and delay purchases of replacement parts.

It now expects full-year earnings to be $5.05 to $5.15 per share, down from prior guidance of between $5.25 and $5.35. Analysts expect $5.32 per share, on average.

The company said it invested in long-term growth of commercial parts sales and to increase customer traffic, boosting comparable store sales from the second quarter to the third quarter. "Despite these improved sales trends, we were still unable to achieve our profitability expectations and fully mitigate the weak consumer demand within several of our markets, especially in colder-weather markets," CEO Darren Jackson said in a statement.

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