America's Car-Mart 2Q Profit Down 20 Percent

America's Car-Mart Inc. of Bentonville on Tuesday reported second-quarter net income of $5.8 million, down about 20 percent from $7.3 million in the same quarter last year as the firm faced an "intense competitive environment."

The publicly traded used car company reported earnings per share of 61 cents, down from 76 cents in the same quarter last year. Still, revenue rose, up 10 percent to $121 million. Same-store sales were up 3.8 percent.

"We are pleased with our top line growth in this presently challenging competitive environment," William H. "Hank" Henderson, president and CEO, said in a news release. "We are excited about our future and proud of the great work of our associates as they take care of our customers. We are highly focused on increasing customer success and tightening expenses while ensuring that our infrastructure remains solid to support the business."

Henderson said the company's 129 dealerships sold 10,608 automobiles during the quarter, up 8.1 percent from the same quarter last year. increase. While same-store revenue rose, the average retail units sold per dealership per month decreased, which Henderson attributed to competition.

The company is planning to open 12 new dealerships in the current fiscal year. And Henderson said Car-Mart remains focused on allowing its store managers to retain local control so the company can earn repeat business from its customers.

"We believe that many companies that are competing for our customers on the funding side are not focused on earning repeat business tied to customer success," Henderson said. "This is a reality that is having a negative effect on our business especially on the provision for credit loss line.

"We remain committed to the belief that the only way to run this business for the long-term is to do everything possible to help customers successfully complete the terms of their contracts. By focusing on customer success, we will continue to fulfill our vision of being the most respected buy-here-pay-here organization in the country," he said.

During the quarter, the company repurchased 3,600 shares of common stock (Nasdaq: CRMT). Since Feb. 1, 2010, the company has repurchased 2.9 million shares, or almost 25 percent of the company.