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What's in Store for Advance Auto Parts' (AAP) Q1 Earnings?

Advance Auto Parts Inc. AAP is expected to report first-quarter fiscal 2016 results on May 19. In the last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 0.83%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors Influencing this Quarter

Advance Auto Parts drives profits through its relentless focus on store expansion. During fiscal 2015, the company opened 121 stores. The increase in store count ensures higher availability of parts to customers, thereby leading to higher sales volume.

Advance Auto Parts expects comparable store sales growth to be in the low-single digits in fiscal 2016 which is better than flat comparable store sales recorded in fiscal 2015. Adjusted operating margin is expected to be 12% in fiscal 2016, higher than 10.2% recorded a year ago. In order to achieve the targeted operating margin, the company will focus on improving gross margins and reducing costs. Higher annual guidance raises hopes about an improvement in the company’s first-quarter results as well.

However, Advance Auto Parts faces challenges from rising new vehicle sales and price competition. This can adversely affect the company’s quarterly results.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Advance Auto Parts is likely to beat earnings this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. This is not the case here, as you will see below:

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Advance Auto Parts’ Earnings ESP is -6.84% because the Most Accurate estimate stands at $2.45, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at $2.63.

Zacks Rank: Advance Auto Parts carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

AutoZone, Inc. AZO – a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock – will report its third-quarter fiscal 2016 (ended May 7, 2016) financial numbers on May 24.

CarMax Inc. KMX – a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock – will report its first-quarter fiscal 2017 (ended May 31, 2016) results on Jun 17.

Navistar International Corporation NAV – a Zacks Rank #3 stock – will report its second-quarter fiscal 2016 (ended Apr 30, 2016) results on Jun 2.

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