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Why America's Car-Mart Shares Jumped

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of America's Car-Mart (NASDAQ: CRMT  ) were cruising higher today, gaining as much as 13% after beating earnings estimates this morning.

So what: The automotive retailer posted earnings per share of $0.84, $0.10 better than the consensus, and said revenues grew 12.8% to $118.9 million, topping expectations by more than 10%. EPS increased 15% from a year ago, and unit sales and sales per store both improved significantly. Management credited the store managers' focus on repeat business as well as other tactics for the company's strong performance in the quarter.

Now what: At a time when the average car on the road in the US is 11 years old, demand in the auto market seems bound to improve. Automakers like GM and Ford have had robust sales in North America lately, and the used car market, America's Car-Mart's specialty, seems just as likely to grow. The company also opened three new dealerships in the quarter, bringing its grand total to 120. Analysts seem to be underestimating the growth potential her, and I'd expect to see estimates revised upwards soon. At today's prices, America's Car-Mart shares look like a good value.

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  • Report this Comment On February 19, 2013, at 11:00 PM, dbhendrix wrote:

    Car-Mart is a "Buy Here/Pay Here" dealer, their target market is the subprime customer who will do almost anything to "rent to own" an automobile.

    One aspect of their sales contract is the provision that if the debtor dies the contract is automatically in default and equity is forfeited thereby depriving the heirs of their property, so if you die with one payment left to go your heirs don't get the car.

    I don't think I care to invest in Car-Mart and take advantage of poor people.

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