Casey’s General Stores Earnings Call Insights: Margins Details and Hy-Vee Program

Casey’s General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Margins Details

Karen Short – Deutsche Bank: Just a couple of questions on margins. First question on your grocery margins. I’m looking at the kind of 20 – approximately 20 basis points when you back out the one-time last year. Was there any inventory gain or anything? I know in last quarter, there was some discussion about some benefit on the inventory side from the increase in pricing?

William J. Walljasper – SVP and CFO: No. We did not have any price increasing that ran through the growth in general merchandise category. I mean, when you pull out that one-time benefit, you’re correct, our margin would have been up about 20 basis points in spite of all the price decreases that we took in the prior year. Really what’s driving that is increased margin and contribution for ice, salty snacks, bread and cakes, just a number of things that are driving the overall margin even in light of those price decreases.

Karen Short – Deutsche Bank: So that, I mean, depending on the weather and things like that and sales, that should continue into the second quarter like we’ve cycled the tobacco pressures?

William J. Walljasper – SVP and CFO: Yes. The big chunk of the price decreases that we took last fiscal year occurred in October and November. So once we cycle those, we won’t necessarily have that comparative headwind. It’s been pretty modest as far as price decreases subsequent to that time period…

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