CarMax (NYSE:KMX) enjoyed solid business momentum right before the COVID-19 paused most retailing traffic in mid-March.
The used-auto retailer said on Thursday that revenue jumped 11% thanks to a 15% spike in volume. Both figures represented improvements on the prior quarter's metrics and contributed to record fourth-quarter results. CarMax's profitability held steady too, as it booked $2,200 of profit per sale. "We are very pleased to report record used vehicle sales and earnings per share for both our fourth quarter and the full year," CEO Bill Nash said in a press release.
Trends changed dramatically in the days following the close of the fiscal year on Feb. 29, as consumers began to follow increasingly stringent stay-at-home routines. "The coronavirus situation within the U.S. has rapidly escalated and sales have dropped significantly" since mid-March, executives said.
CarMax has bulked up its cash holdings and reduced outflows as it prepares to endure a potentially prolonged pause in most retailing operations. Its e-commerce platform is now available in over half of its sales footprint, though, so more customers might take advantage of the ability to process used car purchases entirely from home.