The year-on-year comparisons certainly didn't rev anyone's engine. Revenue, operating income, and earnings all came in a bit lighter than last year. Still, the percentages were modest, considering how far the average sales price of vehicles had fallen in North America. The price per ton of crushed car bodies came in 27% below last year's level. Unit volume, meanwhile, lifted both at home and in the U.K. on a same-store sales basis. Clearly, Copart is driving a healthy amount of bidding traffic to its site.
How is Copart winning over bidders? Well, the company has made a big marketing push, which is reflected in the quarter's higher G&A costs. If you pull up Google Trends, you'll see that search volume for the term "copart" has really picked up this year. Unique visitors to the website appear to be down, but according to this tool, so is traffic at Amazon.com
What appears to be happening here is that Copart is really reaching out to Joe Carbuyer, who can log onto the recently revamped site and easily search through thousands of "no license required" vehicles. That's no license as in no broker's license needed to make a bid. Copart is thus moving in on eBay's
So far, so good, it seems. This new push isn't just bringing in eyeballs, but higher bids as well. Sales prices are rebounding faster than vehicle costs, which is great for Copart's profitability. I continue to look favorably on this company. No wonder it's so popular with guru investors.
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Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy pooh-poohs the Zhu Zhu, while wearing a tutu.