CarMax Earnings Call Nuggets: Traffic and Conversions & Tax Refund Season

CarMax (NYSE:KMX) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Traffic and Conversions

Simeon Gutman – Credit Suisse: So, my one question on traffic and conversion. It sounds like conversion has been a bigger driver of the comp for the past few quarters; traffic not as much. So, Tom, as you think about traffic coming back, we speak a lot about sentiment and macro. Is it just that or do you think as the volume of some of the late-model vintages start to improve, will that be a traffic driver in and of itself?

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Tom Folliard – President and CEO: Yeah, I think that’s a possibility. We have always thought about when we think – when we project our – what we think our sales will be, we always think roughly in terms of comp sales that we’ll get about half from traffic and half from conversion, and that’s largely true over the long-haul, if not always true in a specific quarter. So in the fourth quarter, it was driven more by conversion than it was by traffic, but we still think over the long-haul we’ll get about half from both. But we’re extremely pleased with the execution in our stores. We have a lot of initiatives we worked on over the last couple of years with the training and other things and it looks like it is really paying off and our store teams are just doing a great job executing with the customers that they have.


Tax Refund Season

Matthew Nemer – Wells Fargo Securities: Congratulations on a great year. My question is did you see any impact to your business from the delayed tax refund season in terms of the cadence of sales? Then if I could sneak in a quick follow-up, which is any competitive response to lower cap rates from either your lender partners or other lenders that you’re now partnered with?

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