Domestic same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 1.6% for the quarter.
Net income for the quarter increased 7.8% over the same period last year to $278.1 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 13.0% to $9.36 per share from $8.29 per share in the year-ago quarter.
For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.7% (versus 52.5% for the same period last year). The improvement in gross margin was attributable to lower acquisition costs, partially offset by higher supply chain costs associated with current year inventory initiatives (-14 bps).
Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 34.1% (versus 34.2% the same period last year). Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were relatively flat to last year as favorability across several areas was offset by higher domestic store payroll (-9 bps).
Under its share repurchase program, AutoZone repurchased 478 thousand shares of its common stock for $363 million during the first quarter, at an average price of $759 per share.
At the end of the first quarter, the Company had $783 million remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.
The Company’s inventory increased 7.3% over the same period last year, driven by new stores and increased product placement. Inventory per location was $647 thousand versus $624 thousand last year and $625 thousand last quarter.
Net inventory, defined as merchandise inventories less accounts payable, on a per location basis, was a negative $67 thousand versus negative $66 thousand last year and negative $80 thousand last quarter.
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