(Adds CEO comment, details, background)
March 4 AutoZone Inc, the second-largest
U.S. auto parts retailer, reported quarterly results that beat
analysts' estimates as a severe winter led to more wear and tear
AutoZone shares rose more than 3 percent in premarket
Temperatures fell to as low as minus 37 Fahrenheit (minus
38.3 Celsius) in the first week of January as a deep freeze,
described as "polar vortex," gripped vast parts of the United
Extreme cold weakens car batteries and thickens engine oil,
affecting the engine that in turn leads to greater wear and tear
in other parts. Tires and brakes also wear out more due to snow.
AutoZone, which competes with Advance Auto Parts Inc
and O'Reilly Automotive Inc, reported a 4.3 percent
jump in domestic same-store sales - sales at stores open at
least a year - in the second quarter ended Feb. 15.
Revenue rose 7.3 percent to $2.0 billion.
Total auto parts sales rose to $1.91 billion from $1.80
billion a year earlier. Sales to commercial repair chains rose
"(The) weather patterns accelerated our growth in certain
failure-related hard part categories," Chief Executive Bill
Rhodes said in a statement.
Inventory rose 12 percent, driven by an increase in product
placement and new store openings.
Net income rose to $192.8 million, or $5.63 per share, from
$176.3 million, or $4.78 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $5.55 per share
on revenue of $1.97 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
(Reporting by Rohit T. K. in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)