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Casey's General Stores (NASDAQ:CASY)
Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call
Sep. 11, 2018 10:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to the Q1 fiscal-year 2019 Casey's General Stores earnings conference call. [Operator instructions] As a reminder, this call is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Bill Walljasper, CFO. Sir, you may begin.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Good morning, and thank you for joining us to discuss Casey's results for the quarter ended July 31. I'm Bill Walljasper, chief financial officer. Terry Handley president and chief executive officer, is also here. Before we begin, I will remind you that certain statements made by us during this investor call may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

These forward-looking statements include any statements related to our possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies, growth opportunities and performance improvements at our stores. There are a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements, including our ability to execute on the value-creation plan or to realize benefits from that by creation plan as well as other risks, uncertainties, and factors which are described in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the SEC and available on our website. Any forward-looking statements made during this call reflect our current views as of today with respect to future events, and Casey's disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. This morning Terry will first take a few minutes to summarize the results of the first quarter and then provide an update on the progress with our value-creation plan.

We will then open for questions about those results. I would now like to turn the call to Terry to discuss those results.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Bill, and good morning, everyone. Before I begin, I would like to take a moment in memory of those lives lost 16 years ago as a result of the attacks on 9/11. This was the day in our history that we will remember, and our hearts go out to those families and loved ones of those lost that day. Thank you.

As most of you have seen in the press release, diluted earnings per share for the first quarter were up 30% to $1.90, compared to $1.46 a year ago. The results were primarily driven by operating 105 more stores, stronger fuel margin from the first quarter last year, reduction of hours worked inside the stores, benefits of tax reform, and share repurchases. We continue to be on schedule with the execution of our value-creation plan and are encouraged with the early progress we have been able to achieve in the fuel category. I would now like to go over our results and some of the details in each of those categories.

In the fuel category, we continue to build out our fuel team in preparation for the launch of our formal price-optimization initiative. In the interim, the fuel team has been in close coordination with our store operations team and taken a more proactive approach to our fuel -- retail fuel pricing strategy. This increased focus enabled us to achieve a higher average fuel margin of $0.205 per gallon for the quarter and drove a 13.1% increase in gross profit dollars from the fuel category. Same-store gallons were up one-half of 1%, with total gallons sold for the quarter up 6.5% to nearly $602 million, primarily due to a strong contribution from recent new stores, acquisitions, and replacements.

The average retail price of fuel during this period was up nearly 27% to $2.74 per gallon. Same-store gallons in August are below our annual guidance, with an average fuel margin within our annual range. In the grocery and other merchandise category, total sales were up nearly 8% to $644.8 million in the first quarter. Same-store sales were up 3.2% during the quarter, slightly above our annual guidance as packaged beverages exceeded expectations and cigarettes performed well during the period.

The average margin in the quarter was up 50 basis points to 32.4% compared to a year ago, primarily due to a product mix shift to higher-margin items. As a result of the favorable product mix and increased sales, gross profit dollars for the quarter in the category were up almost 10% to $208.9 million. Same-store sales in August are trending at the high end of our annual guidance. In the prepared food and fountain category, total sales were up 7.3% to nearly $281 million for the quarter.

Same-store sales were up 1.7%. The average margin for the quarter was 62%, down 50 basis points from the first quarter last year, primarily due to increased promotional activity, including additional promotions around our 50th-anniversary celebration. Even though our margin was down compared to last year in the first quarter, we maintained a margin at the high end of our annual guidance. In the quarter, prepared food gross profit dollars rose nearly 6.4% to $174.2 million.

Same-store sales thus far in the quarter are trending below our annual guidance as we cycle against the strongest monthly same-store sales comparison during the last fiscal year. For the quarter, total operating expenses increased 11.9% to $359.4 million. The first-quarter operating expenses were impacted by the following items: credit card fees and fleet fuel expense increase of $8 million, primarily due to a 27% increase in fuel price; a $3.6 million increase in healthcare costs, primarily due to an increase in claims paid and severity of claims. Excluding the impact of these two items, expenses were up approximately 8.2%, primarily due to operating 105 more stores this quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

Same-store operating expenses, excluding credit card fees, were up 1.6%. We continue to make adjustments to help offset some of the macro effects on operating expenses such as hours worked, 24-hour and pizza delivery reductions and work with our budgeted [ calculations ]. I would now like to turn the call over to Bill to discuss the financial statements.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Terry. On the income statement, total revenue in the quarter was up 23.6% to $2.6 billion, primarily due to rising retail fuel prices and an increase in the number of stores in operation this quarter. Depreciation in the quarter was up 12.4%, which was below our annual guidance, primarily due to a decrease in accelerated depreciation from replacement stores activity. Effective tax rate for the quarter was 21.2%, down from a year ago due to the federal tax reform and a change in two of our state tax rates.

We continue to be -- we continue to expect our effective tax rate for fiscal 2019 to between 24% and 25%. Our balance sheet continues to be strong. At July 31, cash and cash-equivalents were $44.8 million. Long-term debt, net of current maturities, was $1.3 billion.

Our debt-to-EBITDA ratio is now at 2.7 times. For the quarter, we generated $149.2 million in cash flow from operations, with capital expenditures at $98.3 million, compared to $94.9 million a year ago in the same period. We expect capital expenditures to be at the higher -- to be higher in subsequent quarters as new store construction continues and we complete our replacement projects budgeted for the fiscal year. Our capital expenditure estimate is $466 million for fiscal 2019.

I would now like to turn the call back over to Terry to update you on our unit growth and the progress with our value-creation plan.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Bill. Our target this fiscal year is to build 60 stores and acquire at least 20 additional stores. This quarter, we opened 15 new store constructions, acquired one store, and have 14 additional stores under agreement to purchase. You should expect a relatively even distribution of new store openings this fiscal year due to the efforts of our store development team over the past two years.

Currently, we have 103 sites under agreement for new store construction. We are on track to achieve our unit growth target and believe we are positioned very well for future growth. I would now like to discuss our value-creation plan. As we indicated on our previous earnings call, we intend to provide you with an update each quarter regarding our progress toward executing on that plan.

As a reminder, our multiyear long-term plan is comprised of several key programs and value drivers, including a new fleet card program, price optimization, and digital engagement programs as well as a continued focus on controlling operating expenses and capital reallocation. We are confident these key initiatives will drive accelerated growth and profitability and deliver increased returns for our shareholders. We have completed several key milestones over the course of the last quarter. I would like to begin with our fleet card program.

This program, which represents a more aggressive approach to better address this important customer category, is right on track with the schedule we outlined in our last call. As reported previously, we selected FLEETCOR as our vendor. This past quarter, we on-boarded a new fleet card manager to work with FLEETCOR, and together they will be launching this new program in October. We expect to see benefits from this program in Q3 of fiscal 2019, resulting in an incremental lift in fuel volume and in-store sales driven by increased traffic.

In addition to the fleet card program, we have been busy executing on our fuel product optimization plan. During the quarter, we converted an additional 592 stores to biodiesel and 78 stores to premium or diesel. By the end of Q2, we will add one of these products to 344 additional locations. Biodiesel, regular diesel and premium fuel all carry a significantly higher margin than other fuel products.

We believe these will have a positive impact to our overall fuel margin going forward. The next initiative I would like to update you on is price optimization. Price optimization will allow us to leverage the sales data generated by our broad network of stores combined with market data to make centralized, rules-based pricing decisions at the pump and in the store, which will improve sales and margin in every category throughout our network. Since our last call, we have selected PriceAdvantage as our platform for fuel optimization and Dunnhumby as our platform for grocery and other merchandise and prepared food and fountain categories.

We will begin piloting fuel optimization in select locations this month, with a planned networkwide rollout of fuel optimization later this fiscal year. We will also begin testing price optimization inside our stores over the course of Q2 and Q3, with a planned rollout of select items to begin later this fiscal year. In the first quarter of fiscal 2020, we will expand the program to all our remaining categories. This program represents a fundamental shift in our marketing process for both fuel and in-store purchases, supported by an increased visibility into our pricing and promotion strategy.

We are excited about this initiative and the benefit we believe it will bring to the company. We continue to progress with our digital engagement program and have reached several key milestones over the last quarter. Since our last call, we have selected the following platforms: SAP Hybris for our e-commerce and mobile ordering solution, MuleSoft for our integration services layer, and Salesforce for the customer database and marketing tool. We have also engaged Deloitte Digital as our e-commerce implementation partner.

Upon integration of the digital engagement program, we intend to create a seamless customer experience both online and in-store that offers new digital product categories and facilitates personalized marketing and rewards. This will involve an enhanced website, a redesigned mobile app, a loyalty program, in-store technology and enhanced enterprise infrastructure. This digital platform will allow us to gain a deep understanding of our customers and better serve them by providing the seamless convenience they value and target effective promotions that drive additional customer visits. We are targeting a pilot for our e-commerce platform, a new mobile app and our loyalty program in the fourth quarter with a broader rollout starting in fiscal 2020.

In anticipation of the increased sales volume generated by the value-creation plan and new store growth, we are currently in the process of evaluating our distribution system to identify long-term optimization opportunities, with a focus on cost and efficiency. This review is expected to be completed in the next 30 days. Another element of our value-creation plan is the disciplined approach to capital allocation and increasing shareholder value through dividends and share repurchases. Our capital allocation strategy will continue to prioritize investments with attractive return profiles, including our value creation programs as well as disciplined store growth through new store construction and strategic acquisition opportunities.

In closing, while the rapidly evolving retail landscape continues to prove challenging, we have taken transformational steps to enhance store performance and deliver long-term profitable growth. Moving forward, we believe Casey's has the right team in place and the correct strategy to successfully execute on the next chapter and drive significant long-term shareholder value. We will now take your questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator instructions] Our first question comes from Ben Bienvenu of Stephens Inc. Your line is open.

Daniel Imbro -- Stephens -- Analyst

Yeah. Thanks, guy. This is Daniel Imbro on for Ben. Thanks for taking our questions.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

You bet, Daniel.

Daniel Imbro -- Stephens -- Analyst

I wanted to start on gallon growth in the quarter. A little bit lighter than the guidance, but fuel margins were at the higher end of the range. Can you guys talk a little bit about how you're thinking about that trade-off? Was that margin a function of some early price optimization you guys are taking? Or is that more of the beneficial mix shift I think you mentioned?

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I would tell you, Daniel, that's a combination of both. But primarily, knowing that the price optimization strategy is forthcoming with the support of the PriceAdvantage tool, we saw an opportunity with Nathaniel Doddridge, our director of retail fuels, and the work that he is doing with his team; as well as Debbie Grimes, our vice president of fuel procurement, an opportunity to identify markets where we could grow gallons and those -- also some markets where we could grow on the fuel margin side. So we are really looking for a long-term balanced approach and, as we do with all of our categories, manage the gross profit dollar expectation. So we have a strategy in terms of trying to find that balance, and we will look at the different markets in terms of where we're going to be more strategic growing gallons versus other markets where we know we can maximize margin.

So right now, it's a new opportunity for us to work with Nathaniel and the store operations team, and certainly we'll see a continued balance in terms of that strategy.

Daniel Imbro -- Stephens -- Analyst

Great. And a quick follow-up on that, looking at the guidance, fleet card kicking in later this year, anticipate that being a boost to comps. Should we anticipate kind of gallon growth in this level maybe until that benefit kicks in, in the back half of the year? Is that the right way to think about the cadence?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. So certain -- this is Bill. Certainly, we expect an uplift from the rolling out of the fleet card program, and I think that's a good way to think about that. Certainly, right now, we're looking to optimize gross profit dollars like we always have.

And certainly, we anticipate a bump in fuel gallon movement Q3 into Q4 as that fleet card program comes online.

Daniel Imbro -- Stephens -- Analyst

OK. That's great. Thanks for the color.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

You bet.

Daniel Imbro -- Stephens -- Analyst

Can you talk a little bit more about operating expenses? They're up 12% in the quarter. I think you guys said up 8.2% excluding credit card fees and the healthcare. But could you parse out a little bit more detail on some of the buckets between maybe what new stores contributed or prior initiatives? And was there any beneficial impact from paring back the prior initiative in the quarter, like delivery and 24 hours?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I'll take that. Yes, certainly we had an 11.9% increase. Maybe just to give you a little more color on the breakdown, roughly the contribution coming from new stores, and Daniel, not only it's new stores, but our replacement stores and newer acquisitions, was roughly almost 6% of that lift. When you take a step down further, about 2.2% comes from the increase of credit cards and fuel expense.

As we called out, health insurance, we did have a little bit more unusual activity in the quarter. Our high-dollar claims were up about 73% in the quarter. Actual claims paid in totality were up almost 20% in the quarter. That ultimately drove a little -- roughly about 1% of that 11.9%.

And that will get you quickly down to that 1.6% number or thereabouts. Obviously, the value-creation plan, we continue to believe that's going to be a 1% impact over the course of the year. And certainly, we're trending in that direction. But on the other side of that, the new stores also contributed roughly half the EBITDA contribution that we saw in the quarter.

And one of the positive things that we are seeing from the new stores that we are putting up right now is they certainly, at least early on, are ramping up at a much higher clip than previous new stores we have in the prior year. So we're encouraged by that. We think that's a credit to our store development team and the locations and the efforts we're making here so far this fiscal year.

Daniel Imbro -- Stephens -- Analyst

Great. Thanks, Bill. Last one for me, a little bit more, just a follow-up. Terry, I appreciate the color on quarter to date you gave.

You got in August, I think, with the toughest comp for prepared foods. But how do the monthly comps look for the remainder of the quarter in each segment? Does the monthly compares get easier kind of across the board?

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I would tell you, Daniel, that throughout the back half of the fiscal year, those monthly comps should be easier than what we are certainly experiencing in the month of August. If you recall, last August was just a tremendous month of ideal weather. We also certainly had a short-term bump from the solar eclipse.

And here in the Midwest, that really was a big sales impact. So certainly, as we look to September, October, the comparisons will be much more favorable than what we have here in August; and as you get into Q3 and Q4, again much more favorable, so we see some positive opportunities in the back half of the year.

Daniel Imbro -- Stephens -- Analyst

Great. Thanks, guys. Best of luck.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo. Your line is open.

Bonnie Herzog -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Hi. Thank you. Good morning, everyone.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Bonnie.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Good morning.

Bonnie Herzog -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Hi. I have a question on your value-creation plan. I guess I was hoping you guys could give us an update on the timing on a high level. You mentioned in your release that you plan to expedite it, so could you give us a sense of maybe how soon you'll be able to finish implementing these initiatives? I guess I'm trying to get a sense of how much you might have shortened the timeline.

And then your FY '21 guidance, should we think about your ability to hit some of these targets earlier?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. This is Bill, Bonnie. I'll start that off here. And so looking at that glide path of these different programs that we have, we're certainly right on track with the execution of the fleet card program.

Coming right out of the gates back in March with the announcement of the value-creation plan, we indicated starting Q3 of this fiscal year, we should start seeing benefits. And I believe we're in -- on pace to do just that. With respect to the price optimization, again, I think we're right on track with that. The timeline for that, obviously, when the -- when you will start seeing some benefits from that price optimization -- and when I say price optimization, that's the formal rollout of the price optimization.

But that will be in the latter part of Q3 and into Q4. And then with respect to the digital transformation, we're continuing to look to accelerate that, but we're right on pace from our original execution, our original commentary. And so I think we're actually setting up very well to have a Q4 with respect to all of these things coming to head at that time as we kick off and look forward to the next fiscal year. So from a quantitative perspective, Bonnie, you'll start hearing us talk about some of those quantitative aspects as we head into Q3.

Right now, it's really more qualitative and making sure we hit the milestones so that we can communicate to The Street that we are executing and plan to execute on this plan.

Bonnie Herzog -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

OK, that's really helpful. And then just a quick follow-on regarding this topic. Could you guys update us on the investments required for your value-creation plan, especially in light of your decision to stop buying back your stock? I just want to get a sense if anything has changed there in terms of what will be required in terms of your investments to implement a lot of these initiatives.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. There's been no material change to what we anticipate investing to stand up these programs. Last quarter, we articulated the capex budget, $466 million. Included in that was roughly about $23 million to $24 million of investment to stand up the digital program.

The other two programs have very little investment and very little opex to stand up. And so really, the main investment is going to come through that digital transformation. However, I would say that next fiscal year, I would not expect to see a capex increase in that neighborhood. I think that's when you'll start to see a little bit more of an opex increase.

And as we move forward into the course of the latter part of this fiscal year and into next fiscal year, every quarter, we'll update you on that.

Bonnie Herzog -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

OK. And then I had a question on your pizza promo strategy, which seems like you might have tweaked a bit during the quarter since you mentioned it had minimal effect on your margin. So just curious to hear about any changes you might have made and then possibly more opportunities to refine your pricing and promo strategy for this business.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Terry. Terry will take that one.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. Bonnie, I will tell you that we still remain -- in terms of the pizza promotion strategy, it certainly remains a very competitive market, as you know. And it's very obvious to us that we need to be in that game. So you will continue to see promotions that would be along the line of single topping promotions, two, four prices.

You'll occasionally see maybe some additional or maybe even increased promotions on our supreme and other higher-value pizzas, if you will. So I think the bigger thing here is taking an opportunity to understand where we can get some leverage in our morning daypart and in our noon daypart with sandwiches and breakfast pizza combos. But certainly, the single topping pizza promotions, two, four pricing is going to continue to be a strategy as we work very hard to regain that market share. And that's the competitive environment that we're in today not only with the major pizza brands but also with the major QSRs and even some of our fast-casual competition.

So again, continues to be a very competitive area with regards to promotional activity. And we're going to have to continue to refine that strategy. And I know the marketing and the food service teams are doing that as we speak. And we'll continue to work very hard to drive those sales upward.

Bonnie Herzog -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

All right. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Kelly Banja of BMO Capital Markets. Your line is open.

Kelly Bania -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Thanks for taking my questions.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hi, Kelly.

Kelly Bania -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

I was wondering if you could elaborate a little bit on the distribution system review. You mentioned, I think, in process. Maybe just help us understand what that's focused on, what you expect to get out of it and is that related to the test on the more frequent deliveries or is that separate. Maybe just an update on that as well.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, sure. This is Terry. I would tell you that's a combination of several things. Certainly, as we continue to grow the enterprise with the number of units, we have to ensure that we can support those stores.

And as we anticipated after the construction and opening of our Terre Haute facility, we would happily look in the near term for what might be distribution center No. 3. And -- but we also wanted to make sure that that was the right play. And so we have undergone a very significant study internally and actually working very hard to complete that here during Q2, so we can come back to the board of directors and provide them a recommendation on what our next steps would be.

But in conjunction not only with the value-creation plan and the anticipated increase in sales from those initiatives, we also see opportunity in terms of different product mixes, whether that be fresh products, also the high-volume stores where we know we need to be in stores more than once a week, what are the most cost-effective opportunities to do that. And so as we consider DC No. 3, we also look at also third-party distribution opportunities that may be in combination with DC No. 3 or an alternative to DC No.

3. And so that study will come to a conclusion here during Q2. And as I said, we'll report to the board of directors at our Q2 meeting and we'll set the path forward in terms of what that distribution network will look like.

Kelly Bania -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK, I look forward to that. Another question just on all the different vendors you're working with. I was just listing them out from Deloitte to Salesforce to Dunnhumby. How do you just feel about -- it just seems like a lot of change and a lot of new teams communicating with outside vendors.

Just curious how you feel about the communication and execution with all these different things going on at once.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So this is Bill, Kelly. And so when we look at the vendors that Terry mentioned, the SAP and MuleSoft and Salesforce and Deloitte, obviously, that's part of the reason why we hired a chief marketing officer. We're also in the process right now looking to hire a vice president of digital.

We just on-boarded the director of digital as well. And so we're starting to build out that team, but we certainly understand that perhaps currently we don't have the skill set to execute on some of these. That is why we're going out to these vendors to leverage their skill set during the interim to try to stand these programs up. And so we think, certainly, there's tremendous value in the digital transformation.

We obviously see just on a small piece of that how our fuel saver program has resonated with our customers in the past. And so we think we can execute to that type of leverage in other areas of our business. And so definitely, the people we're bringing on board have the skills and expertise to coordinate these activities.

Kelly Bania -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK, perfect. And then in terms of the fleet card, you talked about that kind of giving a lift to the gallons. Can you maybe quantify what kind of lift you're expecting and how you come up with that, assuming that's in your guidance for the year given where things are tracking, but maybe just help us understand how you're thinking about that more specifically?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. On the fleet card program, as Terry mentioned, our partner in this -- our vendor in this process is FLEETCOR. So when we went out and actually did an RFP, looking at -- to secure that partnership, we certainly heard back from several vendors their experience and the lift that they typically see when a new fleet card program is executed. Also, the experience from our new director of fuels coming on board who has stood up similar programs also has experience in this area as well.

The combination of those two gives us the information as far as the lift in gallon movement. We also know obviously that these new fleet card members also come in and do shopping inside the store. And so that's to the comment that Terry made, we believe we'll have a lift inside the store as well. And so one of the things that really we get excited about with the fleet card program is the density of our stores in the Midwest.

These partners have not seen density of stores like ours. And so there's certainly an excitement around that to execute on that program. So we'll report more here coming in the December call kind of see how we're tracking.

Kelly Bania -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK, very helpful. And then just another one on prepared food category. You commented about the competitive environment there. I think you took some price increases in July.

Just curious, it sounds like there's maybe some noise near term with the weather impacts and comparisons. But just curious how you feel about the unit movement in that category relative to your prior experience when you implement some price increases and just how you're generally feeling about price increases going forward.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. So we did take a couple of price increases. One was in May. That was predominantly on pizza slices and some hot sandwiches.

Then we took another in July on our doughnuts. And so as of currently as we speak here, we have not seen necessarily elasticity with that. I think more of an overriding issue that we have is, and generally in the industry that affects us, is the customer count, specifically in our area obviously with the continued farm income being down. That does kind of put pressure on discretionary income.

And so that's something we need to be cognizant of. Now going forward with price increases, that will kind of be on a case-by-case basis to see where we have opportunities, as we've mentioned in prior calls. We do competitive pricing surveys on a very regular basis on our key products. And so to the extent that we believe that we might be -- might have an opportunity to take some strategic price increases, for instance like doughnuts or pizza slice, we'll take advantage of those.

So...

Kelly Bania -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK. Thank you.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

You're welcome.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Kelly.

Operator

Our next question comes from Chuck Cerankosky of Northcoast Research. Your line is open.

Chuck Cerankosky -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Good morning, everyone. Great quarter.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Chuck.

Chuck Cerankosky -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Bill, if I -- without getting in too deep, I glanced at your working capital numbers, and it looks like it was pretty well-managed this quarter, looks like quite a bit better than in the past. Anything going on there you want to talk about?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Well, there's probably a couple of things that I'd probably call out. One, on the fuel side, as you know, we've taken a much more conscious effort of some of the products that don't turn quite as often and understanding that and perhaps maybe having a max fill rate on some of those tanks with respect to our diesel and premiums, and so [Inaudible] job in inventory management on some of those what I'll call some secondary products on the fuel category. The other thing that we've made a change here recently is in the cigarette category and the tax stamping. And we have a difference in the pre- and post-tax stamping, which has cut down probably about 50% of our inventory in the cigarette category here in this past quarter.

And also, it's helping improve the operating expense as well as we're able to relocate some of those people elsewhere in the business. So those would be the two things that I would call out at this point.

Chuck Cerankosky -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

All right. And then you also talked about the fuel management team -- marketing team working more with in-store. Can you expand on that a bit, please?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Terry will go take that one.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Chuck, this is Terry. I would tell you that historically, and we've talked about this in the past, with regards to our retail pricing strategy, it was a very decentralized strategy managed by our store operations leadership team. While they certainly had data available to them, it was very dynamic, if you will, in terms of how we price. We follow the competition.

We've made sure we weren't undersold, and it was a market-to-market optimization, if you will. Today, what we're looking at is a combination, if you will, that makes it more of a centralized pricing opportunity. With Nathaniel Doddridge and his team on board, they are working very closely with that store operations leadership. They have more in tune, more diversified data points, Opus Information and so forth that's available for them.

They certainly have a higher level of expertise with regards to what the markets are doing. And so they're working very closely with that store operations leadership team to make some of the decisions regarding -- and recommendations regarding how we might attack a particular market, whether that be to grow our gallons. And so if we see an opportunity to grow gallons, we may become a little more proactive as opposed to reactive with regards to our retail pricing strategy, but also looking at certain markets where we see opportunities to maximize margin because we're probably where we're going to get in terms of the gallon opportunity for that particular period of time. And so we see an opportunity for balance.

And that's really what we're trying to do is we're trying to strike that balance to maximize gross profit dollars.

Chuck Cerankosky -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Thank you very much.

Operator

Our next question comes from Christopher Mandeville of Jefferies. Your line is open.

Christopher Mandeville -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Hey, good morning.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Hey, Chris.

Christopher Mandeville -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Bill, could you just -- I think that you referenced the May strength at least in packaged beverages. Can you speak to the comp cadence throughout the quarter for all categories? And then when we think about your quarter-to-date comments for fuel and prep food in particular, did those two items actually remain in positive territory?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes, I'll take your first one. The cadence obviously made -- across all categories kind of carry the weight. As we might have mentioned in the last call, May was a very, very solid weather month relative to May previous month. And certainly that was -- that permeated across all lines.

And then as far as when you look at what would be the weakest month for us -- actually, June and July were roughly about the same in that regard. So definitely May was a very strong month for us. And so as we head into the second quarter, just by way of comparison, this was a question that was asked previously, but August last year was by far and away the strongest prepared food month of any month in the fiscal year. It was one of the strongest fuel gallon months as well as grocery.

And so that's where we're comparing against currently, so there may be a little comparison issue from the commentary we made roughly in the first quarter. And now I will point out, Chris, at this point, from a two-year stack basis, we are seeing acceleration on a two-year stack. The month of August would be an acceleration of the two-year stack relative to the last four or five months that we've had. Hope that's helpful.

Christopher Mandeville -- Jefferies -- Analyst

OK, that's actually -- that is very helpful. And then on the grocery performance, really some of the best results that we've seen over the last few years on the comp and gross profit dollar generation. But when we think about either the gross profit dollar growth or even the margin expansion of over 50 basis points, was that really just a byproduct of the sales mix shift? Or was there anything else? And to what extent is that maybe sustainable as we move into price optimization in the coming quarters?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. So price optimization will be an interesting dynamic as we move into the latter part of this fiscal year because, in some cases, we will probably see a lift in margin and some we will see lift in volume depending on the location and what direction we want to go with the pricing. I mean, that's something that we'll report on as we go forward, obviously. With respect to the margin specifically in the quarter, I mean, Terry touched this on his commentary.

We did see several items like, for instance, packaged beverages had a significant uptick in the quarter. Obviously, May was a very strong month relative with the weather. A couple of other things that we're doing, we continue to roll out more liquor sales to our stores, which has a higher margin than that particular category, doing very well. The other side of it, the OTP, the other tobacco products, have done very well for us and continue to grow and that product innovation continues on the manufacturing side.

So those are just a few kind of takeaways as to kind of what's helping. Now I will say this, Chris, historically, Q3 and Q4 will be generally speaking our lower-margin months in a normal course of a fiscal year just because we don't sell as many of the higher-margin items like, for instance, ice or some of the packaged beverages.

Christopher Mandeville -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Right, OK. And then I suppose when I think about OPEX if we were to kind of utilize baseball terminology, what inning are we in today as it relates to the reduction of labor hours per store?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Well, actually we're right in the middle of the game. I mean, we continue to be focused on this. Terry alluded to some additional things that we continue to tweak and realign. Budgeted hours are one of those.

We kind of -- we continue to see opportunities here and there at specific stores to carve an hour out of a day or two, to be more efficient than we currently are. And that has had some tremendous benefit. We've had just some anomalies in the first quarter. Obviously, the higher retail fuel price is one that kind of was coming into play.

I will mention that we will start cycling against higher retail fuel prices toward the end of the year. So that comparison has a chance to mitigate. Also, on the long-term incentive plan, we did have an acceleration of some of the expense in the long-term incentive plan into Q1. We will not see that acceleration in Q2, 3 and 4.

And so that's another thing that's creating a little bit of noise in Q1. And then the last one, I think, I talked about a little bit was healthcare cost, just definitely saw a rise in claims paid and especially high dollar claims. So with the coming into the next calendar year, we're in the process now of reevaluating healthcare and our program. And we are looking for opportunities to tweak that plan.

And again, it all comes back to my previous comment about ways for us to continue to drive OPEX and focus on OPEX.

Christopher Mandeville -- Jefferies -- Analyst

OK. And then just two quick ones for me. The $8 million year-on-year increase between credit card fees and fuel costs, what's the actual general breakdown between that? And then what was the RIN contribution in the quarter to the fuel margin?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. So the RIN contribution was $4.6 million on 17.2 million RIN sold, and I'll stop there just before I get to the second part of that. Probably a good illustration of earlier commentary we've made in calls that we believe that RINs don't necessarily drive the margin. Here, we have a $0.205 fuel margin in the quarter where we probably have some of the least dollar contribution coming from RINs probably in the last I know two years for sure, if not three years.

So that's part of the reason that we remain silent in the press release, in the 10-Q, but certainly happy to discuss those things. And you mentioned -- your other question was credit card fees. The dollar amount of credit card fees this quarter was $37.6 million. If you want to break that, 2.2, roughly about -- roughly about 1.9% or 2% of that really would be coming from the credit card fees.

The rest will be the fuel expense or cost to the company.

Christopher Mandeville -- Jefferies -- Analyst

That helps. [Inaudible]

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

You bet.

Operator

Our next question comes from Ryan Domyancic of William Blair. Your line is open.

Ryan Domyancic -- William Blair & Company -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, and thank you for taking my question.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

You bet, Ryan.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, Ryan.

Ryan Domyancic -- William Blair & Company -- Analyst

So with a relatively lower gallon growth number we saw, is that having impact on the amount of customer trips to the site? And if so, is that resulting in less trips inside the store? And then if that is the case, is there any way to measure what kind of impact that is having or it had on the retail comparable sales figures for the inside sales? Thanks.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

That's a great question. It's one that we're very cognizant of, don't have a concrete answer for in that regard. I think we will have a concrete answer as we get the digital platform stood up, have the ability to kind of watch that because we do have a fair amount of customers we believe that will come just for fuel and move on but it's kind of hard to fabricate that. But definitely the lower gallon movement certainly could have that.

And Ryan -- and you probably know this vehicle miles traveled here over the course of the last probably four or five months is moving on a downward trend, not just in our area but across the nation. And so we continue to buck that trend a little bit, but that is a trend, nevertheless, and part of that may have to do with higher retail fuel price. I can tell you for sure though with the with the higher retail fuel price we have fewer gallons per transaction.

Ryan Domyancic -- William Blair & Company -- Analyst

That fewer gallons per transaction is the helpful number there. All right. Well, thank you very much.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

You bet.

Operator

Our next question comes from Damian Witkowski of Gabelli and Co. Your line is open.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

Hi, good morning, Bill. Good morning, Terry.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Hey, Damian.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

Just step back and just going back to price optimization on the fuel side, what's the -- are you willing to lose market share in certain markets to optimize the fuel margin?

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, Damian, I wouldn't qualify it as losing market share. I think what we're trying to find is truly is an optimization. It's trying to find that balance. And so as we think about our pricing strategy, I would tell you, in certain markets, we certainly can be the dominant player in terms of the number of locations.

And so the question is, whom are we competing against? And so we need to make sure that we still are being competitive. But we're maximizing the margin opportunity. So we're not going to give up market share necessarily, but what we're looking for is the balance. So I don't really know how else to explain it to you...

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

No. That makes sense.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

... except that those are opportunities.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

Yes. And then if you look at that opportunity, we're sort of early in that process, is majority of the gains on the CPG side, will those be realized in the first 12 months and then it gets much more difficult, I mean, it's an ongoing process? Or it should be sort of still a nice tailwind beyond 12 months?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Yes. So a couple of things there to follow up on what Terry has mentioned there. Yes, I think there will be gains in the next 12 months on the CPG with the program that Terry alluded to.

Keep in mind, we're just talking about retail pricing strategy right now. And there's a whole another dynamic with our fuel program going forward. We touched on it just a little bit on the last call. And probably it's a good time to touch on it now.

That's the fuel procurement side of the business. And so we actually are currently looking to hire a procurement manager. We just on-boarded several pricing analysts as well. We are now securing Opus data.

All of which has leaned us down the direction of looking at different alternatives in the way we purchase our fuel. And that can run the gamut in many different areas. It really will depend on product, quite frankly, the area of our business. But we do believe that we have certainly a significant opportunity not only on the retail pricing side of the fuel equation but also on the procurement side of the equation to drive CPG moving forward.

And so we will talk a bit more about that as we get further down the fiscal year. But I think that's the dynamic we're looking for. And to follow on to one of Terry's comments on the price optimization, I do believe the rural environment of our business lines itself for opportunities to take margin without sacrificing any type of market share.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

OK. And then just quickly on the new store. Remind me, new store is typically ramped up -- mature over what period?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

It's roughly about a five-year period.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

OK.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

It's definitely encouraged by what we're seeing so far.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

Yeah. And again, majority of those 105 new stores versus a year ago, those are fairly -- I mean, how many of those are in new markets, sort of where Casey's name maybe isn't as prevalent?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

I'd say probably half of those stores are what I would characterize as a newer market. Now we may be -- and when I say newer market, I'm saying like Arkansas, for instance, Tennessee, Kentucky. We've been in those states for several years, but it's probably a less mature state.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

OK. And then lastly, we talked about the farmer and their income and the tail headwinds there. But is it the farmers' income or is it the farmer -- because if I look at -- I mean, Deere put a presentation in their investor deck that talks about farmers' cash flow, and that seems to be pretty stable on a year-over-year basis.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. I hope that's right. I mean, if it's stable, there's an indication that perhaps we may be at the bottom of this cycle and are headed upward. I can't say that to be 100% true, but certainly that seems to be an indication.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

OK. All right. Makes sense.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes, the other side of that equation -- yes, one last comment on that. The other side of that equation there is dependent on where these tariffs go. That could have an adverse impact on the farming income.

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

OK. Thanks.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

You bet.

Operator

Our next question comes from Ben Brownlow of Raymond James. Your line is open.

Ben Brownlow -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Congrats on the quarter.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Hey, Ben.

Ben Brownlow -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Just a quick follow-up on the fuel pricing strategy and the product conversion. And I know, Terry, you mentioned that it was kind of the combination of the two that's really driving the fuel margin. Can you get a little bit more granular in terms of the biodiesel at the 500 locations, what kind of benefit that had? And as you look to the 78 or roughly quarter of the 350 sites that are converting over to premium gas and diesel, is that a bigger benefit than the biodiesel at the 500 locations? Just how should we think about the balance of the benefit between the product conversion?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes, I'll go and take that. Yes, so when you kind of look at order of magnitude, I would say the efforts that our fuel team in conjunction and coordination with the store operations team is probably having the biggest impact at this point. The other, product optimization, certainly will continue to be tweaks for us. Just by way of an example, the diesel blending will have a margin significantly higher than our stated fuel product.

I would say the impact in the first quarter is roughly -- in total, roughly $1 million for the biodiesel conversions. The fuel product evolvement with respect to the premium diesel, we only did 78 stores additional in the quarter, so that's probably less of an impact at this point. However, as Terry mentioned, we're going to do almost 350 conversions here in the second quarter, and we continue to look for opportunities to drive those in future quarters. I mean, it really comes down to trying to match the customer demand with the right product, and this is kind of what we're trying to do, and at the end of the day, will ultimately drive CPG.

Ben Brownlow -- Raymond James -- Analyst

That's helpful. And then so with the premium-diesel-gasoline conversions of the 350, would that be a bigger impact than the biodiesel? Or is it relatively on par?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

It will be on par. And just to clarify that, that 350, some of those will be diesel and some will be premium. And it's not all necessarily premium conversion. It would be one of those two products.

Ben Brownlow -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great. And just one last one for me. The -- most of my questions were answered. But on the other revenue category, I think there was a one-time incentive payment of around $1 million from a new vendor.

Any color there?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. So as we go forward with the fleet card program, it's common to have something of that nature. Now keep in mind, we ran that through the first quarter. We anticipate utilizing those dollars to market that program going forward.

Ben Brownlow -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Great. Thanks, and congrats again.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks.

Operator

Our next question comes from Ryan Gilligan of Barclays. Your line is open.

Ryan Gilligan -- Barclays -- Analyst

Hi, thanks for taking the question. Just following up on the fuel pricing and in-store traffic relationship. I think you mentioned in the prepared remarks that you took more margin in some markets while getting more aggressive on price in others. What were the in-store transaction trend in the markets that you took more margin? How does that compare to overall traffic?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

All right. So with respect to that, I mean, most of our gains are coming through an increased basket ring. Traffic is -- would be probably one of those things that we're trying to evolve right now. So definitely, the basket ring is what we're talking about.

And we don't have -- I don't have any specific metrics about those stores that we took these programs in or not. Keep in mind right now, Ryan, all the promotional activity that we do, whether it's two medium pizzas for $6.99 or whatever, those are across the entire chain. So it would be hard to probably make those types of distinctions. Now going forward, that's going to be a different dynamic.

And that's what digital will bring for us is the ability to regionalize the pricing and promotion strategy, and so we can have a little bit more -- more granular look at that very question.

Ryan Gilligan -- Barclays -- Analyst

Got it. And then, I guess, why do you think bakery trends were soft when breakfast was strong? Do you think that was in response to the price increase you took on doughnuts?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

No, there's a couple of things there. So we have a new product coming into the category. It's a breakfast bowl product that has done, I would say, very well so far in its initial rollout. That's helping offset some of the softer -- softness of the doughnuts and bakery.

Now, I also would say that we did take a price increase on the breakfast pizza slices -- excuse me, breakfast pizzas, and that's also helping to alleviate that as well. Now going forward here in the next quarter, we just completed the test of several new doughnut lines that we're very excited about. We think they'll be well received by our consumer. We're also -- will be undertaking the creation of a larger cake doughnut and rolling that out here coming up in the next quarter as well.

And so both of those things, I believe, will be great value propositions to help lift that area up.

Ryan Gilligan -- Barclays -- Analyst

That makes sense. And then just lastly, on share buybacks, how should we think about that for the rest of the year?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Share buybacks, right now, I can tell you that on the share buybacks, as you know, Ryan, we completed the -- what I'll call the original $300 million share-repurchase authorization. The board did authorize another $300 million. Right now, we are not executing on that as we stand up these value-creation plans. But certainly, keep in mind, this is a two-year window, and certainly that doesn't change our mindset.

Ryan Gilligan -- Barclays -- Analyst

Got it. That's helpful. Thank you.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

You bet.

Operator

Our next question comes from Paul Trussell of Deutsche Bank. Your line is open

Paul Trussell -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. You've touched on real estate, but I did want to circle back to the topic and just maybe peel back or dig a little bit deeper on the performance of the new stores, obviously, very pleased with that. To what extent is that really just better locations or less competition in newer markets? If you could just expand upon that, that would be helpful. And also with the stores that you're acquiring, what are you seeing from a valuation standpoint and your overall feelings about the M&A environment?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. So as far as the new store, it may be a little bit too early to try to bifurcate actually the reasons for the increased performance. But as we have a little more data on there, we'll certainly be more cognizant of reporting on that. I do believe that we definitely are focused on new store construction.

And we have a strong team out there that's using the data that we have from our existing store base, learning from that data and making those selections. Also, the programs that Terry talked about are helping lift that up as well. So as we get further down the path with some of those new stores, we'll kind of break that apart. As far as the M&A activity, I would characterize M&A activity as relatively robust.

And what I mean by that is in my time as CFO, which has been probably 15, 16 years now, is probably one of the years that we have -- I've seen more conversations with opportunities. That doesn't necessarily, Paul, mean that's going to translate into acquisition deals. We're still a very prudent buyer, a very disciplined buyer. And we're not going to necessarily go out and purchase a bunch of stores to tell people we grew the units.

But I think as we had -- get some distance behind tax reform, where I do believe there was a pause in acquisition activity, I think people are willing to have conversations about selling their business. And so we're encouraged by that. And certainly, I think we're in a good position to take advantage of those things.

Paul Trussell -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Thank you for the color. And then just looking at the reduction that's taken place on the 24-hour format and overall kind of labor hour pullback, could you talk to us about the kind of per unit productivity and profitability, and how that's translated given the -- post the changes you've made?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. And so if you're referring to the reduction of 24-hour stores and pizza delivery stores, when I say reduction, that means reduction of hours or reduction of days depending on the program. In some cases, we stopped the 24 hours. But -- and so roughly to give you kind of an idea, the impact that it's having on our reduction in operating expense, it's anywhere from half percent to a full percent depending on the category benefit that we're seeing there.

And as I mentioned in the last call, the impact in the bottom line was about $1.5 million and continues to be tracking in that line as well. That's a net benefit to the bottom line.

Paul Trussell -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Got it. Thank you. Best of luck.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Paul.

Operator

Our next question comes from Anthony Lebiedzinski of Sidoti & Co. Your line is open.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Yes. Good morning, and thanks for taking the questions. I got disconnected a couple of times, so I apologize if my questions are repetitive. But as far as the store closings -- or actually, I should say, the fewer delivery locations as well as optimizing the 24-hour locations, what was the impact of those initiatives on your same-store sales for the just-reported quarter?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes, it would be about half percent to a full percent depending on the category.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Right, OK. And as far as your opex guidance for the year, it does imply a deceleration in opex growth. I know you had some unusual medical claim costs. You also talked about the fuel prices, but those, at the moment, still are higher than a year ago.

So if you could just maybe help us bridge the gap as to how you expect to achieve opex growth of 8.5% to 10% for the year versus the 12% roughly that you just reported here.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Well, there are several things, Anthony. You touched on two of those. And certainly, the retail fuel price can change obviously in the latter part of the year.

But we do anticipate less of an acceleration on the credit card fees as we start comping against higher retail fuel prices. The dynamic this quarter was a 27% increase in fuel price. And certainly, that is lending itself to a much higher utilization of credit cards. You mentioned healthcare.

We did have an unusually, I'd say, high healthcare cost quarter. Just a couple of metrics there, just to reiterate, about a 20% -- 19%, 20% increase in claims paid during the quarter. Embedded into that was roughly about a 73% increase in high dollar claims. That's a little unusual.

We don't necessarily see that being a trend line that's going to go forward with the rest of the year. And in conjunction with the healthcare costs, we are actually right in the middle of looking at the healthcare -- our healthcare costs for our renewal at the end of the calendar year, and so looking at opportunities to maybe be more efficient in the plan to help curve some of those costs going forward, which we'll be starting obviously in January of next year. Probably the biggest -- one more other, then I'll get to the biggest one. Also, one of the things that we don't see continuing from an acceleration standpoint is the long-term incentive plan expense that ran through our Q1.

That will not -- we had some things get accelerated due to the retirement positions, and that will not continue in Q2, 3, and 4 at that pace. Lastly, probably the biggest one is we continue to make adjustments and refinements in our scheduling and budgeted hours calculator. Looking to drive hours worked down in the store. Our store operations personnel have done a fantastic job thus far, but they think there's still more opportunities.

And we continue to tweak that and to move that downwards. So those are just some nuggets to think about when it comes to our thoughts around operating expense in the back half of the year.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Got it, OK. And what was the credit card utilization rate?

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

It's still roughly about 66%.

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

Got it. OK. All right. Well, thanks very much, and best of luck.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Anthony.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Anthony.

Operator

And with no further questions in queue, I'd like to turn the call back to Bill Walljasper for any closing remarks.

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

I'll let Terry go ahead and close this out.

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. I would like to thank everyone for joining us this morning and close the call by reiterating our key initiatives to drive shareholder value: positioning Casey's for accelerated revenue growth and improved profitability through our long-term value-creation plan and continuing our strong track record of delivering value to shareholders through a disciplined capital allocation strategy by prioritizing high return growth and profitability initiatives. We strongly believe the combination of these actions will unlock significant value for our shareholders. This concludes our call for today.

We look forward to continuing a dialogue with our shareholders and updating you on our progress. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 64 minutes

Call Participants:

Bill Walljasper -- Chief Financial Officer

Terry Handley -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Imbro -- Stephens -- Analyst

Bonnie Herzog -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Kelly Bania -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Chuck Cerankosky -- Northcoast Research -- Analyst

Christopher Mandeville -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Ryan Domyancic -- William Blair & Company -- Analyst

Damian Witwoski -- Gabelli & Company -- Analyst

Ben Brownlow -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Ryan Gilligan -- Barclays -- Analyst

Paul Trussell -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Anthony Lebiedzinski -- Sidoti & Company -- Analyst

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