O’Reilly Automotive has announced results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2020, and provided a business update on the company’s actions in response to the impact from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
1st Quarter Financial Results
O’Reilly reported that sales for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020, increased $66 million, or 3%, to $2.48 billion from $2.41 billion for the same period one year ago. Gross profit for the first quarter increased 1% to $1.30 billion (or 52.3% of sales) from $1.28 billion (or 53.1% of sales) for the same period one year ago.
Operating income for the first quarter decreased 5% to $424 million (or 17.1% of sales) from $445 million (or 18.5% of sales) for the same period one year ago.
Net income for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020, decreased $21 million, or 6%, to $300 million (or 12.1% of sales) from $321 million (or 13.3% of sales) for the same period one year ago. Diluted earnings per common share for the first quarter decreased 2% to $3.97 on 76 million shares versus $4.05 on 79 million shares for the same period one year ago.
“Our customers and the communities we serve have been and continue to be severely impacted by COVID-19, and our top priority has been to protect the health and safety of our customers and our O’Reilly team members,” stated Greg Johnson, O’Reilly’s CEO and co-president. “O’Reilly Auto Parts is an essential supplier to the communities we serve, as a key resource provider ensuring consistent and effective transportation for a wide range of essential industries, health care providers, emergency personnel, and consumers engaged in critical tasks, as well as meeting the automotive needs of everyday customers as they use their vehicles to meet basic needs, such as trips to the pharmacy or grocery store. Our experienced team of professional parts people has a long history of selflessly responding quickly in disaster situations to take care of our customers, and I’m extremely proud and grateful for the contributions of our entire Team to keep all of our stores open and operating to meet our customers’ critical needs in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Johnson further commented, “In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we have taken many steps to promote the continued health and safety of our customers and team members in accordance with the evolving information and recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local governmental agencies. Some of the initiatives we have implemented to serve our customers in the safest way possible include the implementation of curbside pickup for Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store orders and revised procedures for store services, including battery and check engine light testing. Our core Culture Value of excellent customer service remains as critical as ever, and we will continue to adapt to the ongoing challenges to safely take care of our customers and provide them the essential parts they need.”
Johnson continued, “The first two months of the quarter were below our expectations as the mild weather was a headwind to demand in our business, but with the onset of spring weather at the beginning of March sales performance strengthened. However, we began to see the significant, negative impact of COVID-19 in the middle of March, as our customers became subject to stay-at-home orders issued across all of our market areas. As a result of these factors, our first quarter comparable store sales decline of 1.9% did not achieve our comparable store sales guidance of growth of 2% to 4%. Due to the ongoing, negative impact of COVID-19, for the four-week period beginning in the middle of March and through the first two weeks of April, our comparable store sales decreased 13%.”
Johnson continued, “We have taken prudent steps to ensure the continued stability and financial flexibility of our Company. Our teams have taken appropriate actions to reduce costs and conserve cash, including reducing store operating hours and delaying discretionary capital investments, and we will continue to make adjustments as we navigate through the current environment. As we join with others in our communities in protective measures to limit the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, we are living in highly uncertain times and cannot predict how long the current crisis will last or how severe the impact will be to our customers and our business. As a result, we are withdrawing our 2020 operating, cash flow and capital expenditures guidance as we continue to evaluate and adjust the actions we are taking in response to the current environment. We remain highly confident in the strength of our team and the steps we have taken in these difficult circumstances to solidify our business and position us to return to our long track record of industry-leading, profitable growth post crisis.”
On March 25, 2020, the company successfully issued $500 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured 4.200% Senior Notes due 2030. The notes issuance further strengthened the Company’s liquidity position, and at April 21, 2020, the Company had $1.1 billion in cash and unused capacity available on its existing revolving credit facility. The Company has also temporarily suspended its share repurchase program.