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Car-Mart posts 3rd-quarter rise in profit

By Katie Doherty

This article was published February 19, 2013 at 7:23 a.m.

America’s Car-Mart Inc. has reported net income of $8 million in its fiscal third quarter, up 9.6 percent from the $7.3 million earned in the same quarter the previous year.

The Bentonville-based buy here, pay here dealer said in a Monday evening statement that the results amount to a profit of 84 cents per diluted share, a 15 percent increase from the 73 cents in the same year-ago period.

For the quarter ending Jan. 31, the company said, it generated $119 million in revenue, up from $105 million the year before.

Same-store revenue rose 8.8 percent, the company said. Retail-unit sales rose to 10,403, a 16 percent increase from 8,965 for the previous-year quarter, the company said.

“We are very pleased with our results for the quarter, and especially so with the significant increases in sales. As we mentioned after our second quarter, we had seen some increases in the amount of funding into the sub-prime auto industry which did create some increased competition that put some pressure on our sales earlier in the year. In typical fashion, our General Managers stepped up to the challenge and delivered,” William "Hank" Henderson, president and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Additionally in the quarter, the company bought back 62,160 shares of its common stock for $2.58 million, part of the company’s stock-repurchase program, in which it has invested about $88 million to repurchase nearly a quarter of its outstanding shares since Feb. 1, 2010.

“Our first priority for capital allocation will continue to be to support the healthy growth of the business. Our debt to equity ratio was 56.6% and our debt to finance receivables ratio was 30% at the end of the quarter," Jeff Williams, chief financial officer, said in the statement. "Our balance sheet is very healthy and by staying focused on cash returns our future is bright."

Car-Mart has 120 locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

The company’s management will hold a conference call at 10 a.m. to discuss the third-quarter results. A live audio of the call will be available by dialing (877) 776-4031 about 10 minutes before the call begins. A replay will be available starting one hour after the call and accessible for 30 days by dialing (855) 859-2056 and using the ID number 97628926.

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