Advance Auto Parts expects 14.2 percent drop in earnings for third quarter

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Advance Auto Parts Inc., a retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories and maintenance items, said Monday that third quarter earnings per diluted share (EPS) are expected to be $1.21, a decrease of 14.2 percent versus the third quarter 2011 EPS of $1.41 per share. 

The company cited a drop in total sales for the quarter of about a half percentage point to $1.46 billion as the reason for the decline. The sales decrease reflects a comparable store sales drop of about 1.8 percent that was partially offset by the addition of 82 net stores during the past 12 months.

Increased promotions and higher spending on labor and advertising in an effort to maintain market share in a softer consumer environment also helped drive the decline, the company said.

Advance Auto anticipates that its operating performance will continue to be constrained for the balance of the year. As a result, it said the full year EPS outlook for fiscal 2012 will be in the range of $5.05 to $5.15. 

“As we look beyond our current quarter, we believe the industry fundamentals remain positive and that we are well positioned with our initiatives to fuel our future growth,” Darren R. Jackson, president and CEO, said in a statement. “These initiatives include the successful launch of our Advance Commercial Credit program, our new distribution center in Remington, Ind;, our recent expansion into New York City and our continued momentum from out B2B online ordering capability, hub investments and inventory upgrades. “

The company will report third quarter financial results before the opening of financial markets on Nov. 8.


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