Advance Auto Parts Inc. shares rose after the aftermarket retailer said sales are getting a boost from Americans doing more work on their cars as they wait for shutdown orders to lift.
Comparable-store sales improved in the first four weeks of the second quarter and to date are in line with a year ago, the Roanoke, Va.-based company said Tuesday. Advance Auto shares gained 3.6 percent to close at $135.82 on Tuesday.
Americans have taken stay-home orders as a cue to do more wrenching on their rides, CEO Tom Greco said on the company’s earnings call. Advance Auto’s do-it-yourself repair business is strong, replacement car-battery sales are brisk and consumers are taking breaks from streaming to scrub down their vehicles.
“You’ve got people sitting in their homes and you can only watch so much Netflix,” Greco said. “You decide what to do and you go outside maybe you fix something in your yard or maybe you work on your car.”
The do-it-yourself segment tends to hold up well during economic downturns. As unemployment increases, new-car sales decline and the vehicle fleet ages, consumers do more of their own maintenance. Greco also said that an aversion to mass transit and desire to drive rather than fly to vacation destinations may help Advance Auto sustain its recent momentum.