Ankeny, IA, September 10, 2012—Casey’s General Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq symbol CASY) today reported diluted earnings per share of $1.01 for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 ended July 31, 2012, compared to $1.03 for the same quarter a year ago. “This quarter we completed 26 major remodels, added pizza delivery to 50 locations, and converted 26 stores to 24-hour operations,” said President and CEO Robert J. Myers. “Fiscal 2013 is going to be an exciting year for Casey’s as we continue to roll out these operational initiatives.”
Gasoline – The Company’s annual goal is to increase same-store gallons 1% with an average margin of 14.0 cents per gallon. For the first quarter, same-store gallons sold were down 0.2% with an average margin of 14.9 cents per gallon. “Gas margins are performing in-line with our expectations,” said Myers. “The excessively hot weather adversely impacted several areas of our business, including gasoline gallons sold.” Total gallons sold for the quarter were up 3.7% to 394.1 million gallons.
Grocery and Other Merchandise – Casey’s annual goal is to increase same-store sales 6.2% with an average margin of 32.7%. For the quarter, same store sales were up 2.6% with an average margin of 33.4%. Casey’s experienced a one-time gross profit benefit of approximately $3.5 million due to a change in the Illinois cigarette tax. “Customer traffic was impacted by the adverse weather mentioned above as well as a challenging cigarette market,” stated Myers. “Although cigarette sales are down, we are very pleased with the sales growth within the rest of the category, especially beer and beverages.” Total sales for the quarter were $386.1 million and gross profit rose 8.5% to $128.8 million.
Prepared Food & Fountain – The goal for fiscal 2013 is to increase same-store sales 11% with an average margin of 61.1%. For the first quarter, same store sales were up 10.6% with an average margin of 63.5%. “Prepared food sales continue to benefit from the operational initiatives mentioned above and should improve throughout the year as we add those initiatives to more stores,” said Myers. “The margin benefited from reduced commodity costs, especially cheese and coffee.” Total sales for the category were up 15.2% to $142.7 million, and gross profit increased over 19.4% to $90.6 million.
Operating Expenses – For the first quarter, operating expenses were $189.4 million compared to $171.4 million for the first quarter a year ago, up 10.5%. “Lower retail fuel prices helped keep credit card fees and fuel expense relatively flat,” stated Myers. “Wages were up 12% primarily due to the increase in the number of stores operating 24 hours, pizza delivery, and operating 33 more stores than a year ago.”
Expansion – The Company’s annual goal is to increase the number of stores 4-6%. The Company opened 1 new store construction and 3 replacement stores. There were no acquired stores opened during the quarter. “Although it was a relatively quiet quarter we still expect to meet this goal by the end of the fiscal year,” said Myers. The Company currently has 18 new stores under construction and 27 stores under written agreement to purchase.
Dividend – At its September meeting, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.165 per share. The dividend is payable November 15, 2012 to shareholders of record on November 1, 2012...