Advance Auto Parts (AAP) aims to improve its supply chain and vendor terms by pursuing an aggressive store expansion strategy. However, the sluggish economy, volatile gasoline prices and pricing are some of the challenges facing the company. AAP's profits fell 8.2% in the second quarter of 2012, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.06 per share.
The company's revenues also dipped marginally by 1.3% due to lower store sales and lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.48 billion. These factors have led us to downgrade our recommendation on the stock from Neutral to Underperform and set a target price of $64.00.
The stock is trading at a discount to the peer group, based on forward earnings estimates. The current P/E, which is close to the lower-end of the historical range, is at a 14% discount to the peer group for 2012.
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