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O'Reilly Automotive Profit Rises 44%


Autoparts retailer O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. (ORLY) said Wednesday after the markets closed that its first quarter profit rose 44% from last year, helped by higher sales and improved margins.

The company's quarterly earnings per share also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly sales.

At the same time, the company gave a down-beat earnings guidance for the second quarter, but raised its full year earnings forecast.

Commenting on the results, O'Reilly CEO and Co-President, Greg Henslee, said, "We are pleased to report a very strong start to 2012, highlighted by our comparable store sales increase, excluding the extra Leap Day, of 6.1% and a 200 basis point improvement in operating margin to 16.2%, representing a record high."

O'Reilly shares are gaining 0.54% in after hours trading after closing the day's session at $96.62, up $1.62 or 1.71%. The shares trade in a range of $56.25 to $97.03.

The Springfield, Missouri-based company reported net income for the first quarter of $147.5 million or $1.14 per share, compared to $102.5 million or $0.72 per share for the year-ago quarter.

Excluding items,adjusted net income for the first quarter increased to $147.5 million or $1.14 per share from $118.4 million or $0.83 per share in the prior year quarter.

On average, 20 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.04 per share for the first quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Gross margin for the quarter improved to 49.8% from 48.4% a year ago, while operating margin for the quarter increased to 16.2% from 14.2% last year.

Sales for the first quarter rose 11% to $1.53 billion from $1.38 billion in the same quarter last year. Seventeen analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $1.49 billion for the first quarter.

Same-store sales for the first quarter increased 7.4%. Adjusted for the impact of one additional day during the first quarter ended March 31, 2012, as a result of Leap Day, same-store sales increased 6.1%.

The company repurchased 1.8 million shares of its common stock for $154 million during the first quarter. Subsequent to the end of the first quarter and through Wednesday, the company repurchased an additional 0.1 million shares of its common stock for $5.3 million. As of today, the company had about $364 million remaining under its share repurchase program.

For the second quarter, the company expects same-store sales growth of 3% to 5% and earnings of $1.13 to $1.17 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $1.17 per share for the second quarter.

For the full year 2012, the company maintained its revenue guidance of $6.15 billion to $6.25 billion, but raised its earnings guidance to a range of $4.47 to $4.57 per share from its prior guidance of $4.27 to $4.37 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $4.51 per share on revenue of $6.22 billion for the full year 2012.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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