CarMax Inc. (KMX) reported a 58% jump in earnings for the fourth quarter helped by higher revenue and lower income tax provision. The results were benefited by improved conversion, growth in store base, and lower cancellation activity. The bottom line exceeded analysts’ expectations while the top line missed consensus estimates. Following this, the stock inched up over 4% in the premarket session.
Net income climbed 57.6% to $192.6 million and earnings soared 68.7% to $1.13 per share. The prior-year quarter’s earnings were reduced by the revaluation of its net deferred tax asset, and a one-time discretionary bonus paid to eligible associates.
Net sales and operating revenues increased by 5.7% to $4.32 billion. Used unit sales in comparable stores rose 2.8% and total used unit sales grew 5.6%. The comparable store sales performance primarily reflected improved conversion, partially offset by lower store traffic. Total wholesale unit sales increased by 3.7%, largely driven by the growth in its store base.
For the fourth quarter, the company believes its comparable store used unit sales growth was adversely affected by delays in February tax refunds relative to last year, the continuation of higher acquisition prices and a robust competitive environment.
Extended protection plan (EPP) net revenues grew by 19.9%, helped by lower cancellation activity, cost decreases from plan providers, and increases in its unit volume and product penetration rate. Net third-party finance fees improved $3.3 million, reflecting shifts in its sales mix by finance channel, including an increase in Tier 2 and a decrease in Tier 3 sales.
Also read: CarMax Q3 results
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, CarMax opened five stores, including three stores in new television markets (Buffalo, New York; Montgomery, Alabama; and New Orleans, Louisiana), and two in existing television markets (Orlando, Florida and Portland, Oregon).
The company now intends to open 13 stores in fiscal 2020 and a similar number of stores in fiscal 2021. CarMax estimates capital expenditures to increase to about $350 million in fiscal 2020 from $304.6 million in fiscal 2019. The increase in planned capital spending in fiscal 2020 reflects several factors, including a shift of some spending originally planned for 2019 into 2020 and the addition of three customer experience centers to support its omnichannel roll-out.
Shares of CarMax ended Thursday’s regular session down 0.25% at $63.68 on the NYSE. The stock has risen over 5% in the past year and over 1% in the past three months.
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