ATLANTA, April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC) announced today first quarter sales and earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.
Sales for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017 were $3.91 billion, a 5% increase compared to $3.72 billion for the same period in 2016. Net income for the first quarter was $160.2 million compared to $158.0 million recorded for the same period in the previous year. Earnings per share on a diluted basis were $1.08, up 3% from $1.05 for the first quarter last year.
Paul Donahue, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased that our total sales increase in the first quarter of 2017 represents positive sequential sales improvement and is our strongest quarterly growth since the fourth quarter of 2014. As a diversified global distributor, we benefited from strong total sales growth in our international automotive, industrial, electrical and office operations. The strength in these areas was partially offset by the headwinds in our U.S. automotive business, which we are working to overcome.”
First quarter sales for the Automotive Group were up 3%, including an approximate 0.5% comparable sales increase. Sales at Motion Industries, our Industrial Group, were up 7%, including a 3% comparable sales increase, and sales at EIS, our Electrical/Electronic Group, were up 5%, with comparable sales up 2.5%. Sales for S.P. Richards, our Office Products Group, were up 9% for the quarter, including a 2.5% decrease in comparable sales.
Mr. Donahue concluded, “It is encouraging that our overall growth was driven by sales increases across all four of our businesses, with positive comparable sales in all but one segment. Our teams have worked hard to position the Company for stronger growth and remain focused on key sales and cost initiatives to build on our first quarter performance as we move forward in the year. We are excited by the future growth prospects across our broad platform, and will continue to support this growth with a strong balance sheet, solid cash flows and effective capital allocation intended to maximize shareholder value.”
The Company expects sales to be up 3% to 4% for the full year, which is unchanged from the initial guidance, and is raising its outlook for diluted earnings per share to $4.75 to $4.85 compared to the initial outlook of $4.70 to $4.80.
Genuine Parts Company will hold a conference call today at 11:00 a.m. EDT to discuss the results of the quarter and the future outlook. Interested parties may listen to the call on the Company’s website, www.genpt.com, by clicking “Investors”, or by dialing 800-949-2163, conference ID 2672294. A replay will also be available on the Company’s website or at 844-512-2921, conference ID 2672294, two hours after the completion of the call until 12:00 a.m. Eastern time on May 3, 2017.
Forward Looking Statements
Some statements in this report, as well as in other materials we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or otherwise release to the public and in materials that we make available on our website, constitute forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Senior officers may also make verbal statements to analysts, investors, the media and others that are forward-looking. Forward-looking statements may relate, for example, to future operations, prospects, strategies, financial condition, economic performance (including growth and earnings), industry conditions and demand for our products and services. The Company cautions that its forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, and while we believe that our expectations for the future are reasonable in view of currently available information, you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events may differ materially from those indicated as a result of various important factors. Such factors may include, among other things, the Company’s ability to successfully implement its business initiatives in each of its four business segments; slowing demand for the Company’s products; changes in legislation or government regulations or policies; changes in general economic conditions, including unemployment, inflation or deflation; changes in tax policies; volatile exchange rates; high energy costs; uncertain credit markets and other macro-economic conditions; competitive product, service and pricing pressures; the ability to maintain favorable vendor arrangements and relationships; disruptions in our vendors’ operations; the Company’s ability to successfully integrate its acquired businesses; the uncertainties and costs of litigation; disruptions caused by a failure or breach of the Company’s information systems, as