Couche-Tard profit, revenue rise but lag estimates

Tue Jul 9, 2013 10:28am EDT

(Reuters) - Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATDb.TO), a Canadian convenience store and gasoline station operator, reported a 13 percent rise in fourth-quarter adjusted profit, driven mainly by acquisitions, but the results came in below analysts' expectations.

Couche-Tard shares fell as much as 8 percent to C$56.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Net profit for the 12 weeks ended April 28 rose 24 percent to $146.4 million, or 77 cents per share, from a year earlier.

Excluding items, profit rose to about $115.5 million, or 61 cents per share, as acquisitions helped increase merchandise sales and margins for motor fuel. Analysts on average had expected 77 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total revenue jumped 45 percent to $8.78 billion, but came in below the average analyst estimate of $8.87 billion.

Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard operates more than 6,000 convenience stores in North America under banners that include Mac's and Circle K, the majority of which sell motor fuel.

In the United States, sales at established stores rose 2 percent, excluding tobacco products. Same-store road transportation fuel volume was up 1 percent in the United States.

Couche-Tard, French for "night owl" or "goes to bed late," also operates more than 2,000 fuel stations in Scandinavia, Poland, the Baltics and Russia, following the acquisition of Norway's Statoil Fuel & Retail.

Couche-Tard's in-store merchandise includes tobacco products, fresh food offerings such as quick service restaurants, beer and wine, grocery items, candy, snacks and beverages.

The company also offers other products, including marine fuel, aviation fuel, lubricants and chemicals.

(Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)