Iowa convenience chain turns strong numbers in fuel, in-store sales.
Casey’s General Stores, Inc. today reported diluted earnings per share of $1.28 for the second quarter of fiscal 2018 ended Oct.31, 2017, compared to $1.44 per share for the same quarter a year ago.
“The company surpassed the 2,000 store milestone and now has 200 new-store sites either under agreement or under construction at the end of the quarter, including its first store in the state of Michigan,” said Terry Handley, president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “In addition, we recently began the consultation phase of our digital engagement and price optimization projects. We continue to make investments to enhance ongoing operations and support our long-term vision to create shareholder value.”
The Company’s fiscal 2018 guidance was to increase same-store gallons sold 1.0% to 2.0% with an average margin of 18.0 to 20.0 cents per gallon. For the quarter, same-store gallons sold were up 1.9% with an average margin of 19.7 cents per gallon.
“The company is an industry leader in same-store gallons sold, and continues to gain market share in this category,” said Handley. “Further, our fuel pricing strategy positioned us to take advantage of market volatility throughout the quarter to realize a fuel margin near the top end of our guidance.” the Ankeny, Iowa-based chain sold 17.3 million renewable fuel credits for $14.5 million during the second quarter. Total gallons sold for the quarter were up 5.7% to 561.7 million gallons while gross profit dollars increased 11.7% to $110.7 million. Year to date, same-store gallons sold were up 1.8% with an average margin of 19.5 cents per gallon.
The company’s fiscal 2018 guidance was to increase same-store sales 2.0% to 4.0% with an average margin of 31.0% to 32.0%. For the quarter, same-store sales were up 2.5% with an average margin of 32.0%.
“Both the quarter and year-to-date same-store sales and average margin was within our annual performance guidance,” said Handley. “We continue to gain market share in this category.” For the first quarter, total grocery and other merchandise revenue increased 5.0% to $572.2 million, and gross profit dollars were up 4.9% to $183.1 million. Year to date, same-store sales were up 2.8% with an average margin of 31.9%. Total revenue for the first six months rose 5.3% to $1.2 billion while total gross profit dollars increased 5.6% to $373.5 million.
Casey’s fiscal 2018 guidance was to build or acquire 90 to 120 stores, replace 30 existing locations, and complete 75 major remodels. At the end of the second quarter, the Company had built and opened 12 new stores, acquired 14 stores, completed 14 replacements, and remodeled 28 stores. In addition, there were 66 new stores, 18 replacement stores, and 14 major remodel stores under construction. Finally, the company had 134 sites under agreement for new store construction and 16 acquisition stores under agreement to purchase.
“The acquisition pipeline continues to expand, which further complements the accelerated growth in our new store construction activity,” said Handley. “The company is positioned well to take advantage of a consolidating market and drive unit growth at faster levels than we have in the past.”