Advance Auto Parts
- Suarez v. Advance Auto Parts, Inc., et al.
- Class Period:November 16, 2022 - May 30, 2023
- Date Filed:October 09, 2023
- Jurisdiction:U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
- Docket Number: 5:23-cv-00563
- Lead Plaintiff Deadline: December 8, 2023
Seek Plaintiff 4
A class action lawsuit, captioned Suarez v. Advance Auto Parts, Inc., et al., No. 5:23cv00563 (E.D.N.C.), has been filed against Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (“Advanced Auto” or the “Company”) (NYSE: AAP) and certain of its top current and former executive officers alleging that they violated the federal securities laws. The lawsuit seeks to represent purchasers or acquirers of Advanced Auto securities between November 16, 2022, and May 30, 2023, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is a retailer specializing in automobile parts and accessories, serving both automobile professionals and non-professional consumers. The Company operates stores called “Advanced Auto Parts,” “Autopart International,” “Carquest,” and “Worldpac.” Advanced Auto operates over 4,700 stores (across all four brands) in the United States and Canada.
As alleged in the Advance Auto lawsuit, at the beginning of the Class Period, on November 16, 2022, the Company held its quarterly earnings call for investors. During the earnings call, President and CEO Thomas R. Greco (“Greco”) announced “strategic pricing initiatives” aimed to help propel margins growth into 2023. Specifically, Greco stated: “we’ve tested and will make surgical pricing actions in certain categories to enable us to better address changes in competitive pricing dynamics.”
The Company initiated these “strategic pricing initiatives” despite Greco’s recognition that “our research has consistently indicated that price is not the most important driver for choice for professional customers.” He later stated, “availability is the #1 driver of choice for the professional installers, and as we said many times, price is much lower down the list.”
On February 28, 2023, the Company held its quarterly earnings call for the 2022 fourth quarter. During that call, Greco stated, “[w]e continue to execute the disciplined inventory and pricing actions we discussed this quarter. These actions contributed to stronger results, and we expect to improve parts availability throughout 2023, which we believe is the single most important driver to accelerate line growth.” Greco also dismissed the impact of the U.S. economy and other macroeconomic factors on sales and margins. He stated, “we remain cautious surrounding the macroeconomic backdrop, including the potential for ongoing pressure on low-to-middle income consumers. However, our 2023 guidance is underpinned by continued industry strength with the drivers of demand remaining positive.” The Company then issued its 2023 guidance, projecting net sales of $11.4 billion to $11.6 billion and an operating income margin of 7.8% to 8.2%. The Company also remained “committed to paying quarterly cash dividends,” according to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Jeffrey W. Shepherd (“Shepherd”).
On May 31, 2023, Advance Auto held its quarterly earnings call for 2023 first quarter, during which Defendants conceded, “our financial results in the first quarter were well below expectations.” Because the Company slashed prices on products, Greco stated “we had less price realization than plans, which put substantially higher pressure on our product margin price.” Shepherd revealed during the May call that the Company’s strategic pricing program resulted in the Company being “unable to price to cover product costs in the quarter.” The Company consequently revised downward its 2023 guidance to an operating margin of 5% to 5.3% from the previously announced 7.8% to 9.2% margins.
Investors reacted negatively to these revelations and the reduced 2023 guidance, causing Advance Auto shares to fall $39.31, or 35%, and close at $72.89, on unusually high volume.
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If you purchased Advance Auto securities during the Class Period and suffered substantial losses, and you wish to serve as lead plaintiff in this lawsuit, we encourage you to submit your information to DiCello Levitt LLP via the form on this page. You can also contact DiCello Levitt partner Brian O’Mara by calling (888) 287-9005 or at email@example.com.
The deadline to apply to the Court to serve as a lead plaintiff in the Advance Auto lawsuit is December 8, 2023.