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    • By Counterman
      Advance Auto Parts reported third-quarter net sales of $2.6 billion, a 0.8% increase over third-quarter 2021.
      Comparable-store sales decreased 0.7%, which Advance attributed to “increased owned-brand penetration, which has a lower price point than national brands.”
      “I want to thank the entire family of Advance team members as well as our growing network of independent partners for their continued dedication,” Tom Greco, president and CEO, said in a news release. “We continue to execute our strategy to drive full year net sales growth and adjusted operating income margin expansion while returning excess cash to shareholders.”
      Greco noted that Advance’s “deliberate move to increase owned-brand penetration, which carries a lower price point, reduced net sales by approximately 80 basis points and comp sales by approximately 90 basis points. We also continued to invest in our business while returning approximately $860 million in cash to our shareholders through the first three quarters of 2022.”
      The company reiterated its full-year guidance of net sales between $11 billion and $11.2 billion.
      “While we continue to execute against our long-term strategic plan, we’re not satisfied with our relative topline performance versus the industry this year and are taking measured, deliberate actions to accelerate growth,” Greco said.
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    • By Counterman
      Women in Auto Care, a community of the Auto Care Association, is accepting applications for positions on its leadership committee in 2023.
      Women in Auto Care provides opportunities, education and career leadership in the auto industry through conferences, networking, scholarships, education, data, awards and more.
      The volunteers who comprise the Leadership Committee participate in awarding scholarships, help in planning an annual conference and auction, social media, awards, sponsorship, mentoring and engagement. These positions require a time commitment of 1-2 hours per week and participation in Women in Auto Care Events.  
      Each position is for a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2023. The deadline to apply is Dec. 16.
      To apply,  link hidden, please login to view. 
      Interested in volunteering, but not sure about taking on a leadership role?

      Help support the community by becoming a Champion! Women in Auto Care Champions have exclusive opportunities to help support our key initiatives through “micro volunteering” efforts. Champions earn insight and exposure to the committee and meet volunteer requirements for certifications, such as ACP.
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    • By Advance Auto Parts
      Q3 Net Sales Increased 0.8% to $2.6 Billion; Year to Date Increased 1.0%
      Returned $167 Million to Shareholders in Q3; Year to Date Returned $860 Million
      Reiterates Net Sales, Comparable Store Sales and Adjusted Operating Income Margin Guidance
      RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, announced its financial results for the third quarter ended October 8, 2022.
      "I want to thank the entire family of Advance team members as well as our growing network of independent partners for their continued dedication,” said Tom Greco, president and chief executive officer. “We continue to execute our strategy to drive full year net sales growth and adjusted operating income margin expansion while returning excess cash to shareholders. In the third quarter, net sales grew 0.8% which benefited from improvements in strategic pricing and new stores, while comparable store sales declined by 0.7% in-line with previous guidance. Our deliberate move to increase owned brand penetration, which carries a lower price point, reduced net sales by approximately 80 basis points and comp sales by approximately 90 basis points. We also continued to invest in our business while returning approximately $860 million in cash to our shareholders through the first three quarters of 2022.
      “We’re reiterating our full year guidance that implies 20 to 40 basis points of adjusted operating income margin expansion, despite margins contracting in the third quarter. 2022 will be the second consecutive year that we have grown adjusted operating income margins in a highly inflationary environment. Our industry has proven to be resilient, and the fundamental drivers of demand remain positive. While we continue to execute against our long-term strategic plan, we’re not satisfied with our relative topline performance versus the industry this year and are taking measured, deliberate actions to accelerate growth.”
      Third Quarter 2022 Results (1)
      Net sales increased 0.8% to $2.6 billion Comparable store sales (2) decreased 0.7% Gross profit decreased 0.2% to $1.2 billion; Adjusted gross profit (3) increased 2.9% to $1.2 billion Gross profit margin decreased 44 basis points to 44.7% of Net sales; Adjusted gross profit margin (3) increased 98 basis points to 47.2% of Net sales SG&A increased 5.2% to $1.0 billion; Adjusted SG&A (3) increased 5.4% to $989.3 million SG&A was 38.0% of Net sales compared with 36.4% of Net sales; Adjusted SG&A (3) was 37.5% of Net sales compared with 35.8% of Net sales Operating income decreased 22.7% to $177.2 million; Adjusted operating income (3) decreased 5.8% to $258.0 million Operating income margin was 6.7% of Net sales compared with 8.7% of Net sales; Adjusted operating income margin (3) was 9.8% of Net sales compared with 10.4% of Net sales Diluted EPS decreased 31.3% to $1.84; Adjusted diluted EPS (3) decreased 11.5% to $2.84 Net cash provided by operating activities through the third quarter was $483.1 million; Free cash flow (3) through the third quarter was an inflow of $149.5 million Opened 37 new store and branch locations in the third quarter Third quarter of 2022 Net sales totaled $2.6 billion, a 0.8% increase compared with the third quarter of the prior year, primarily driven by strategic pricing and new store openings. Comparable store sales for the third quarter of 2022 decreased 0.7%, which was impacted by increased owned brand penetration, which has a lower price point than national brands.
      The company's GAAP Gross profit decreased 0.2% to $1.2 billion. Adjusted gross profit increased 2.9% to $1.2 billion. The company's GAAP Gross profit margin of 44.7% of Net sales decreased 44 basis points compared with the third quarter of the prior year. Adjusted gross profit margin increased 98 basis points to 47.2% of Net sales, compared with 46.2% in the third quarter of 2021. This was primarily driven by improvements in strategic pricing and product mix as well as owned brand expansion. These headwinds were partially offset by continued inflationary product costs and unfavorable channel mix.
      The company's GAAP SG&A was 38.0% of Net sales compared with 36.4% in the third quarter of 2021. Adjusted SG&A increased to $989.3 million from $938.2 million in the third quarter of the prior year. On an adjusted basis, SG&A was 37.5% of Net sales, which deleveraged 166 basis points compared with the third quarter of 2021. This was primarily driven by inflation in store labor, medical and fuel costs.
      On a GAAP basis, the company's Operating income was $177.2 million, or 6.7% of Net sales, compared with 8.7% in the third quarter of 2021. The company's Adjusted operating income was $258.0 million, a decrease of 5.8% versus the third quarter of the prior year. Adjusted operating income margin decreased 68 basis points to 9.8% of Net sales compared with 10.4% of Net sales in the third quarter of the prior year.
      The company's effective tax rate was 24.7%, compared with 23.7% in the third quarter of 2021. On a GAAP basis, the company's Diluted EPS was $1.84, a decrease of 31.3% from $2.68 in the third quarter of 2021. The company's Adjusted Diluted EPS was $2.84, a decrease of 11.5% from $3.21 in the third quarter of the prior year. On both a GAAP and adjusted basis, the company’s diluted EPS was negatively affected by approximately $0.20 as a result of foreign currency impact in the quarter.
      Net cash provided by operating activities was $483.1 million through the third quarter of 2022 versus $924.9 million in the same period of the prior year. The decrease was primarily driven by lower Net income and working capital. Free cash flow through the third quarter of 2022 was $149.5 million compared with $734.0 million in the same period of the prior year.
      ____________________
      (1) All comparisons are based on the same time period in the prior year.
      (2) Comparable store sales include locations open for 13 complete accounting periods and excludes sales to independently owned Carquest locations.
      (3) For a better understanding of the company's adjusted results, refer to the reconciliation of non-GAAP adjustments in the accompanying financial tables included herein.
      Capital Allocation
      During the third quarter of 2022, the company repurchased 0.4 million shares of its common stock at an aggregate cost of $75.0 million, or an average price of $168.93 per share, in connection with its share repurchase program. At the end of the third quarter of 2022, the company had $1.0 billion remaining under the share repurchase program.
      On November 7, 2022, the company declared a regular cash dividend of $1.50 per share to be paid on January 3, 2023 to all common stockholders of record as of December 16, 2022.
      Full Year 2022 Guidance
      Jeff Shepherd, executive vice president and chief financial officer, commented, “As we begin the final quarter of 2022, we’re reiterating our full year guidance for net sales growth, comparable store sales and adjusted operating income margin expansion. In addition, we’re updating our adjusted diluted EPS guidance range to reflect the impact of foreign currency. Finally, getting more parts closer to our customers is a top priority. Therefore, we’re making strategic inventory investments to improve our availability, which is an important step to accelerate growth in 2023. Inventory is the primary driver of our reduced free cash flow guidance.”

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    • By Counterman
      Women in Auto Care, an Auto Care Association community, has named Kim Nolan of BBB Industries the Auto Care Woman of the Year. Nolan is BBB’s senior vice president – traditional sales.
      In addition, Tanya Hunt, BBB’s commercial project manager, was named the Auto Care Champion of the Year.
      Women in Auto Care presented the awards on Nov. 2 in Las Vegas during AAPEX.
      The Auto Care Woman of the Year recognizes a woman who is a leader, mentor and role model who has made significant and outstanding contributions to the auto care industry. Nolan was selected among the largest group of nominations Women in Auto Care has ever received.
      This selective award recognizes individuals who have, over the course of a career spanning many years, distinguished themselves through their integrity, unselfish commitment to and high level of performance within the aftermarket. 
      The Auto Care Champion of the Year is presented to a volunteer who has gone above and beyond in supporting Women in Auto Care. Hunt encompasses the volunteer spirit in every aspect of her life. In its inaugural year, the award recognizes Hunt’s extraordinary dedication and commitment to Women in Auto Care.  
      “We are honored to have Kim and Tanya as part of the BBB team,” BBB Industries CEO Duncan Gillis said. “This is an incredible recognition of their strong leadership and commitment to excellence. I am confident both will continue to have a profound impact on others in the industry.”
      The Women in Auto Care annually honor deserving women throughout the industry who have made significant contributions in the auto care community. 
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    • DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.


      DIY like a pro! Shop from over 1,000,000 Repair Manuals at eManualOnline.com! As low as $14.99 per manual. Shop now.

    • By APF
      link hidden, please login to view Source: 
      link hidden, please login to view Activist investors targeting auto-parts retailers are taking hits to their investments, and Amazon isn’t helping.
      When hedge fund Starboard Value LP disclosed a stake in Advance Auto Parts Inc. in 2015, it said the stock, then at $171, could more than double. The retailer’s shares have instead nearly halved since then, after warning weak sales will continue for an industry that’s also drawn interest from billionaire Carl Icahn. Advance Auto’s peers O’Reilly Automotive Inc. and AutoZone Inc. also have also plunged this year amid disappointing demand.
      SOURCE: BARCHART
      Perhaps the biggest bogeyman weighing on the shares is Amazon.com Inc., which sent shockwaves across the retail industry in June with its $13.7-billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. The online juggernaut has also been making inroads with autos, launching a car-research site and a parts marketplace last year. While car-part distributors -- with their technical expertise, trove of components and ability to quickly deliver to mechanics -- are more insulated from e-commerce than other retailers, though they’re not invincible.
      “We fear an increased level of price transparency -- these companies either more aggressively price or promote their products to drive the same level of sales growth,” Seth Basham, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said of the auto-parts retailers. “I don’t think it’s a primary driver of what’s been hurting same-store sales in the industry this year, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a bigger impact going forward.”
      Investor Interest
      The more immediate challenges dragging on the industry include economic uncertainty for low-income customers, higher gas prices and warmer weather that has eased the wear and tear on consumers’ cars, Advance Auto Chief Executive Officer Tom Greco said Tuesday.
      Starboard’s view is that Amazon is a mild headwind -- at most -- to the industry, a person familiar with its strategy said. The New York-based hedge fund is pleased with Advance Auto’s efforts to cut costs and bolster its online presence and sees earnings improving early next year, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
      Further encroachment by online rivals could pose a threat to industry profit margins that are in excess of 20 per cent -- part of what initially drew investors like Starboard and Icahn to the aftermarket parts business.
      With the average age of vehicles on American roads approaching 12 years, investors also are betting an older vehicle fleet will mean more repairs and parts replacement. To capture that expected growth, Icahn has strung together several companies that deal in automotive parts, including service and retail chain Pep Boys, Auto Plus and parts supplier Federal-Mogul.
      For now, e-commerce represents a sliver of the $277-billion aftermarket parts business, according to estimates from Wedbush and the Auto Care Association, an industry trade group. Online sales were about $11-billion last year, with EBay Inc.’s roughly 40-per-cent share being the largest, Wedbush estimates. Amazon had about a 25-per-cent share, though it’s growing at a rapid clip, Mr. Basham said.
      Amazon Encroaches
      Amazon launched the Amazon Automotive store in 2006 and has been expanding its inventory since then. It’s added a parts-finder filter that lets shoppers enter the make and model of their cars to find the correct parts.
      “We’re continually expanding our selection and improving the customer experience with things like our Part Finder, Amazon Garage and, most recently, Amazon Vehicles,” a company spokeswoman said in an email.
      Icahn Automotive, which owns Pep Boys and Auto Plus, and Starboard declined to comment. Spokespersons for O’Reilly, AutoZone and Advance Auto also declined to comment.
      In trying to assess the potential threat from Amazon and other online parts sellers like RockAuto and EBay, analysts are honing in on retailers’ exposure to the consumer-facing “do-it-yourself” market, as opposed to the “do it for me” approach in which retailers sell to professional mechanics. The do-it-yourself market could be more vulnerable because consumers who aren’t in a hurry to buy a new wiper blade or spark plug may go online to find the cheapest price.
      DIY Slowdown
      The do-it-yourself segment already is lagging, according to the Auto Care Association, which estimates sales will grow at a compound annual rate of 3.8 per cent in the five years ending in 2017, compared with a 4.4-per-cent increase for the do-it-for-me market.
      The slower growth also is a reflection of cars getting increasing complex and loaded with technology, which contributes to more repairs necessitating technicians, said Behzad Rassuli, senior vice president of strategic development at the Auto Care Association. Some bumpers, for instance, now are built with embedded sensors that need to be properly calibrated.
      “The opportunity for the consumer to repair their own vehicle has been dwindling,” Mr. Rassuli said.
      Mr. Icahn said as much when speaking about his acquisition of Precision Auto Care Inc. in June, the latest addition to his chain of auto-repair shops. He’s also planning to take advantage of higher utilization of cars driven by the growth of ride-hailing businesses, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview at the time.
      Greg Henslee, O’Reilly’s CEO, has said the impact of companies like Amazon will be limited because they will struggle to sell component to consumers who don’t know what’s wrong with their car. Online retailers “will continue to take a little bit of market share here and there,” Mr. Henslee said on an earnings call in February. “I don’t see them nearly as one of our most prominent competitors.”
      Digital Experience
      Even if their expertise diagnosing car troubles offers some protection, traditional parts retailers still are under pressure to improve their digital experience, especially since a buyer will often go online to ensure a part is in stock before picking it up at a store.
      Advance Auto is investing heavily in technology to ensure a “consistent experience every time, both in-store and online,” Mr. Greco said on the company’s earnings call Tuesday. He told analysts consumers will have a “faster and more frictionless experience” online.
      If you’re a parts retailer, “you’re definitely concerned,” Wedbush’s Basham said. “You’re thinking about ways to defend your turf and to capitalize on the way consumers are changing their behaviour.”
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