The Ankeny-based Casey’s General Stores chain says its gross profit for the second quarter was up 19.3%. The company reports earnings of $2.00 for each of its shares compared to $1.28 cents for the same quarter last year.
Casey’s chief financial officer, Bill Walljasper, says a drop in gas prices was one key factor. “During the second quarter we experienced a strong fuel margin environment resulting in average margin of 24.7 cents per gallon, compared to 19.5 cents per gallon in the same period a year ago,” Walljasper says. “Year-to-date the fuel margin is 21.1 cents per gallon– well ahead of our annual goal.”
He says they saw a benefit in fuel sales in another way too. “We also benefited from the sale of renewable fuel credits, commonly know as rins, during the period. During the quarter we sold 13.6 million rins for about $4.7 million. This represents about a one cent improvement to the fuel margin,” Walljasper explains.
He says customers bought more gas with the lower prices. “Lower retail fuel prices from a year ago benefited same-store gallons, resulting in an increase of 3.3 percent in the second quarter,” Walljasper says. “While total gallons sold increased 7.7 percent 496.2 million.”
Gas sales weren’t the only area that saw an increase, sales of merchandise in the stores also increased. “We experienced double-digit sales increases in nearly all areas of the category during the quarter compared to a year ago, with an average margin of 31-and-a-half percent. As a result gross profit was up nearly 8 percent to 162.9 million,” Walljasper says. Sales of prepared food in the stores, such as pizza, were up more than 9 percent, returning a profit of 63.4 percent.
The company had net income of $79 million in the quarter.