Aftermarket auto parts supplier Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) reported first-quarter earnings that came up short of the Capital IQ consensus estimates, while also missing top-line expectations, as well.

Genuine Parts recorded revenues of $3.198 billion in the quarter that ended March 31, a half percent increase over last year's $3.181 billion, but that was below Wall Street's estimates of $3.284 billion. On the bottom line, the auto parts supplier generated $144.4 million, or $0.93 per share, flat from the year ago figure, but below the $0.98 per share estimate.

Genuine Part's chairman and CEO Thomas C. Gallagher acknowledged that they anticipated the first quarter was going to be its most challenging and said:

Despite the rather slow start to the year, we remain optimistic about our prospects for stronger sales and earnings over the balance of 2013. Our sales initiatives and ongoing investments in the businesses, coupled with certain external indicators, bode well for our future growth.  

He maintains that the company continues to generate solid cash flows, and says that the balance sheet is strong. Genuine Parts reported ending the quarter with cash and equivalents totaling $841.9 million, and long-term debt of just $250 million. It also acquired Australasian aftermarket distributor Exego on April 1.

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