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Pep Boys 4Q revenue beats expectations

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack widened its fiscal fourth-quarter loss due a large pension-related charge, but the company's revenue came in well ahead of market expectations and its shares jumped in after-hours trading Monday.

The company, based in Philadelphia, runs a chain of 750 automotive service and retail stores.

Pep Boys posted a loss of $14.5 million, or 27 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Feb. 2. That is compared with a loss of $4.4 million, or 8 cents per share, in the first quarter of the prior year.

The most recent quarter included a $17.8 million pension settlement charge and $1.8 million asset impairment charge, as well as a $1.6 million gain from the disposition of assets.

The company said that its total revenue increased 5 percent to $530.8 million from $505.3 million, helped by an extra week in the most recent quarter.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting the company post revenue of $500.3 million.

Pep Boys reported that its revenue from stores open at least a year, which does not include the extra week, fell 2.6 percent as it was dragged down by weaker merchandise sales. That metric is considered a key indicator of a retailer's financial performance as it strips away recently opened or closed stores.

The company's CEO Mike Odell said service maintenance and repairs provided a bright spot in a disappointing year, from a sales and profit perspective. But Pep Boys said its sales from established stores has improved thus far in its first quarter, with gains in both its service and retail revenue.

Pep Boys said it is trying to better target what customers want in terms of products and shopping experience to help drive gains in the future. And the company's Chief Financial Officer David Stern said that with the pension liabilities settled and a refinancing complete, the company is in a strong position to invest in the business and improve its market share.

Shares of the company increased 3 percent after-hours to $11.58. Its stock fell nearly 4 percent to close regular trading at $11.25 amid a broad market downturn.