Retail stock to watch: Casey’s General Stores Inc (NASDAQ: CASY)

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Casey’s General Stores Inc (NASDAQ: CASY) for the fourth quarter of FY 18 has reported the adjusted earnings per share of 51 cents. Adjusted revenue growth was 35.9 percent to $2.09 billion in the fourth quarter of FY 18. Further, as of April 30, 2018, there were 31 new stores, four replacement stores, and three major remodel stores under construction

Moreover, in the fourth quarter 2018, the operating expenses were up 7.9% from the same time period a year ago. This is due to increase in Health insurance expense by $4.5 million, primarily due to an increase in the number and severity of claims. Credit card fees and fuel expense combined rose by $4.4 million, primarily due to a 12.1% increase in retail fuel prices. The company incurred $1.6 million in consulting fees related to the execution of the value creation plan. Snow removal costs rose $1.2 million, due to inclement weather.

From its inception on March 9th, 2017, through the end of the fourth quarter of FY18, CASY has repurchased 2,441,600 shares of its common stock under its open market share repurchase program for approximately $264.8 million, or an average price of $108.46 per share. As of April 30th, 2018, the company had a total remaining authorized amount for share repurchases of $35.2 million on its initial $300 million authorization, which was completed in May 2018. In addition, in March 2018, CASY has authorized a new $300 million share repurchase program through fiscal year 2020.

CASY has increased the quarterly dividend from $.26 to $.29 per share. The dividend is payable August 15th to shareholders of record on August 1st, 2018.

For FY 19, CASY expects Operating Expenses (including expenses from value creation plan) is expected to be in the range of 8.5% – 10.5% and Depreciation and Amortization is expected to be in the range of 14.0 – 16.0%. The company has planned New Store Construction of 60 stores and planned acquisitions of 20+ stores.

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