Advance Auto Parts Inc (AAP) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Image source: The Motley Fool. Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call Feb. 21, 2018, 8:00 a.m. ET Contents: Prepared Remarks Questions and Answers Call Participants Prepared Remarks: Operator Welcome to the Advance Auto Parts Fourth Quarter 2017 Conference Call. Before we begin, Elisabeth Eisleben will make a brief statement concerning forward-looking statements that will be made on this call. Elisabeth Eisleben -- Director of Investor Relations Good morning and thank you for joining us on today's call to discuss our fourth quarter and full-year 2017 results. I'm joined this morning by Tom Greco, our President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Okray, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Bob Cushing, our Executive Vice President of Professional, Mike Broderick, our Executive Vice President, Merchandising, Inventory, Replenishment, and Store Operations, and Prabhakar Vaidyanathan, our Vice President, Treasury and Investor Relations. Following their prepared remarks, we will turn our attention to answering your questions. Before we begin, be advised that our comments today may include statements that are not historical fact and may be deemed forward-looking statements as defined by the SEC's Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. While actual results may differ materially from those projected in such statements due to a number of risks and uncertainties, which are described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and on our website, we maintain no duty to update forward-looking statements made. Additionally, our comments today include certain non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to our quarterly press release and accompanying financial statements issued today for important information and additional details regarding both the forward-looking statements and the reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures referenced in today's call. 10 stocks we Continue Reading

Why it’s time to push for lower insurance rates

If you haven't been lobbying your insurance company for lower rates on home and auto coverage, there may be a $25 billion reason why you should.The Consumer Federation of America is arguing that insurance companies are receiving a windfall as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act trims corporate tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent.In a Jan. 23 letter to state insurance commissioners, the consumer advocacy group asserted that insurers would garner a $25 billion "windfall" from tax savings and this should result in lower premiums for customers. (The insurance business is regulated by the individual states and companies must apply for rate changes.)"If you raise the tax rates, the investment income drops and insurers file rate increases," said J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America and co-author of the letter to regulators."When their taxes go down, they need less premium, so their rates must come down," he said.Insurance trade associations disputed the consumer group's findings in a Jan. 30 letter to regulators, saying that the consumer group's claim "oversimplifies and overstates the impact of federal tax changes in a number of ways.""The calculations fail to consider the effect of other factors in rate filings — such as upward loss trends and the resulting increase in reinsurance costs — some of which will offset the impact of a tax reduction," the American Insurance Association and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America wrote in a joint letter to state insurance commissioners.Here's how you can push for lower premiums. State-by-stateThe new tax law is prompting insurance regulators to take a second look at what the new code will mean for insurers' finances.Aside from premiums, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or NAIC will be looking at whether it needs to adjust its regulatory guidance for insurers' risk-based capital — the minimum amount of Continue Reading

Cypress auto shop owner has business revved for success

By Vagney Bradley, [email protected] Updated 4:48 pm, Wednesday, February 14, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Tony Gaines, Photographer Image 1of/5 CaptionClose Image 1 of 5 Kevin Taylor, owner of the Maaco Collison Repair & Auto Painting shop off FM 1960 in the Cy-Fair area, is one of the youngest Maaco shop owners in the country. Employee Taylor Hanzelka, and Taylor inspect a vehicle for body work. less Kevin Taylor, owner of the Maaco Collison Repair & Auto Painting shop off FM 1960 in the Cy-Fair area, is one of the youngest Maaco shop owners in the country. Employee Taylor Hanzelka, and Taylor inspect ... more Photo: Tony Gaines, Photographer Image 2 of 5 Kevin Taylor, back, watches employee Dave Cadmus secure the tape on a car window frame before painting. Taylor, owner of the Maaco Collison Repair & Auto Painting shop off FM 1960 in the Cy-Fair area, is one of the youngest Maaco shop owners in the country. less Kevin Taylor, back, watches employee Dave Cadmus secure the tape on a car window frame before painting. Taylor, owner of the Maaco Collison Repair & Auto Painting shop off FM 1960 in the Cy-Fair area, is one of ... more Photo: Tony Gaines, Photographer Image 3 of 5 Kevin Taylor talks with his auto painter Ramiro Loza about paint selection for a customer. Taylor, owner of the Maaco Collison Repair & Auto Painting shop off FM 1960 in the Cy-Fair area, is one of the youngest Maaco shop owners in the country. less Kevin Taylor talks with his auto painter Ramiro Loza about Continue Reading

College students may need their own renters insurance policies

The tuition is paid, the books are purchased and the dorm room mini-fridge is stocked. But there's still one back-to-college expense families should assess — renters insurance. Theft and property damage incidents on college campuses are relatively rare, but not unheard of. In 2015, colleges reported 1,926 fires at on-campus student housing, according to the Department of Education. Burglary is the most common on-campus crime, per a 2016 National Center for Education Statistics report, accounting for half of crime at public and private 2- and 4-year institutions. The 13,500 burglaries reported equal roughly nine incidents per 10,000 full-time students. Your student might not need a separate policy. Usually, dependent students' possessions are covered under their parents' homeowners or renters insurance policy, said Angie Orbann, vice president of property and personal insurance for Travelers. Yet it's worth checking with your agent. Depending on the details of that policy, there can be gaps that leave you or your student at risk: Housing. A parent's policy often extends coverage for students living in on-campus dorms, but may exclude a student living in an off-campus home or apartment, said Loretta Worters, a vice president for the Insurance Information Institute. They'll need their own policy to protect their possessions and provide liability coverage. Possessions. Most policies cap coverage for "items stored off-premises," which would include your child's dorm-room contents, at 10 percent of the policy, said Orbann. Valuable items like electronics, collectibles and jewelry have even lower limits — and of course, those are the items more likely to be Continue Reading

Automation Nation: A brief guide to self-driving cars and what they could do to your auto insurance

Get in the car, dial up a destination then let the car pilot itself there while you read, get a jump on the day’s work or indulge in your favorite iPhone game. Automakers such as Tesla and Volvo have pushed this ideal as the ultimate byproduct of today’s half-baked self-driving systems. This seed concept has taken root in the mind of an eager public and blossomed into a fantastical narrative about autonomous cars, one fertilized by statistical analysis, science fiction and pure imagination. One of the many parties purported to be on the verge of certain annihilation by vehicle automation is the insurance industry. The logic of this claim is as follows: cars that can sense their surroundings and communicate with the vehicles and infrastructure around them would be less prone to distraction, more aware and more responsive than the drivers they would replace. Most car crashes are the result of human error so by eliminating the human component, one could conceivably put an end to accidents and remove the need for no-fault insurance. Plus, if a car steers itself into an accident how could the human inside be to blame? While this touches on some of the broad strokes, it fails to capture the full picture. Proponents claim automation will spread like wildfire, equating its adoption rate to that of smartphones but skeptics believe the technology and the legislation needed to facilitate it are still far-off pipedreams that will eventually be taken in stride. “The demise of the insurance industry that’s often predictws in relation to self-driving cars is based only in conjecture,” James Lynch, chief actuary at the Insurance Information Institute told the Daily News in a recent interview. “The biggest misunderstanding is that the revolution is not going to take place overnight and it's not going to take place in five years; it’s going to take a long time and the insurance Continue Reading

Do York County police officers work off-duty, private security jobs?

In 2014, three York City Police officers met with Zhen Ting Li, the owner of the restaurant Li's Kitchen, to address recent neighborhood complaints.Police had made drug arrests at and near the WeCo district restaurant. A man was stabbed there. Officers cited people for public drunkenness.At that meeting, Li later testified during a hearing to revoke his liquor license, the matter of hiring security came up.Testimony doesn't explicitly say whether an officer made the suggestion — only that "it was recommended that he hire the police to perform inside security work."He didn't hire police. Li said it was too expensive, and later hired other people to do security at the restaurant, which served Mexican food and sold beer to patrons.The meeting, mentioned in a 46-page document put together by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, raises questions about why the suggestion would have been made in relation to a police department whose policies generally keep officers away from working security-related jobs. More: Li's Kitchen wants liquor license back, turns to state court The officers might have made that suggestion, York City Police Chief Wes Kahley said, but finding out who, or if it really happened, is irrelevant to him because decisions to work extra employment are not made by officers."We don't allow officers to be privately hired," Kahley said, adding his department frequently gets asked if they provide security. "We're not going to be a bouncer for a bar."Other police departments in York County seem to be saying the same thing. There are plenty of jobs officers can work outside their normal shift, but there are limitations when it comes to jobs that require the use of police action, according to a York Daily Record review of five county department policies. READ: Changes to DUI law could create 'decision' for first-time offenders While experts say secondary employment — instances where officers work Continue Reading

Letters to the editor: Auto insurers discriminate

My wife and I moved to Wilmington a year ago and we just love it. The taxes are high but living in the city is so much fun.When we moved our insurer told us that our auto insurance would go up because we moved into a zip code that they designate as high risk, even though we live in a high rise with security and off street parking.So that means that the most vulnerable in our city who are trying to make ends meet are just beaten down again by higher insurance premiums just based on where they live. So what are they supposed to do when they have to decide between putting food on the table or paying the car insurance?Insurance companies make tons of money and they should not be permitted to “hedge their bets” by charging different rates based solely on one's address – this is discriminatory, to say the least. I hope that our new insurance commissioner will take note of this. It would help those who really need it and not cost the state a dime. Anthony Stella WilmingtonSummer-blend gasoline requires refiners to minimize Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which contribute to ozone formation. Per federal mandates, VOCs must be minimized for summer blends. Therefore, refineries in Philadelphia, Northern New Jersey, and Delaware City must flare their VOCs to accommodate the use of corn-based ethanol ( also a VOC).The 2005 Renewable Fuel Standard, enacted during the administration of George W. Bush requires refiners to accommodate the 10 percent use of corn-based ethanol. During the presidential primaries, only Senator Ted Cruz favored repeal of the corn ethanol subsidies. President Trump favored them.PBF at Delaware City was recently fined for shipping ethanol to other PBF refineries. The U.S. is now a net exporter of oil and natural gas. The Renewable Fuel Standard program has grown into a subsidy-dependent boondoggle, a vote-buying scam for the Corn Belt states, with more emissions ( including CO2) when we evaluate the entire supply chain.Forty Continue Reading

Study: D-Insurance would save drivers up to $2,300

Mayor Mike Duggan's D-Insurance plan, which would offer lower-cost auto insurance for Detroit motorists, would save drivers $600 to $2,300 a year off their premiums, according to a study by an actuarial firm the city hired. Duggan's proposal – working its way now through the state Legislature – would allow Detroit drivers to opt out of the state's now-mandatory unlimited personal injury health care policies paid by auto insurers under the state's no-fault auto insurance system which is unique in the nation. D-Insurance would cap total health care benefits at $275,000, with any additional costs picked up by medical insurance policies ranging from from Medicare and Medicaid to employer-provided insurance or plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act. Related: New cut-rate auto insurance plan not just for Detroit Read the report: D-Insurance Feasibility Study The study by Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, based in Bloomington, Ill., found: Duggan said during a news conference this afternoon that the study by Pinnacle, performed independently of health care providers and auto insurers, provides more support for D-Insurance as he seeks approval of state lawmakers – including fellow Democrats skeptical of the proposal. Noting that half of the drivers of the 322,000 vehicles registered in Detroit are estimated to be driving without insurance because policies are so high, Duggan said D-Insurance targets the main reason car insurance is so high in the city: health care costs. Detroit drivers have roughly the same crash rates as suburban drivers, but the study by Pinnacle confirms that Detroiters file medical claims at twice the rates as suburban drivers, and the medical claims Detroit drivers file cost close to double the amount charged to suburban drivers. Related: Duggan: Give Detroiters a break on auto insurance "My aggravation throughout this is, 'Who speaks for the 50% of Detroiters who cannot drive a car legally because they Continue Reading

Fact check: Closer look at words spoken by Paul Ryan, others at Republican National Convention

WASHINGTON - Laying out the first plans for his party's presidential ticket, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took some factual shortcuts Wednesday night when he attacked President Obama's policies on Medicare, the economic stimulus and the budget deficit. Sen. Rob Portman, a former U.S. trade representative, glossed over his own problems when critiquing Obama's trade dealings with China. A day earlier, the convention's keynote speaker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, bucked reality in promising that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will lay out for the American people the painful budget cuts it will take to wrestle the government's debt and deficit woes under control. OUR TEAM IN TAMPA REPORTS LIVE FROM THE RNC PAUL RYAN PLEDGES MITT ROMNEY WILL RESTART NATION'S STALLED ECONOMY And former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum stretched the truth in taking Obama to task over his administration supposedly waiving work requirements in the nation's landmark welfare-to-work law. VIDEO: MORE FROM THE CONVENTION A closer look at some of the words spoken at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.: RYAN: "And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly. ... So they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama." THE FACTS: Ryan's claim ignores the fact that Ryan himself incorporated the same cuts into budgets he steered through the House in the past two years as chairman of its Budget Committee, using the money for deficit reduction. And the cuts do not affect Medicare recipients directly, but rather reduce payments to hospitals, health insurance plans and other service providers. In addition, Ryan's own plan to remake Medicare would squeeze the program's spending even more than the changes Obama made, shifting future retirees into a system in which they would get a fixed payment to shop for coverage among Continue Reading

Insure, but don’t overinsure

When I walk someone through the process of cutting his or her household budget, premium cable and unused gym memberships are the low-hanging fruit. There are other items that can't be cut out, but can be cut down. Insurance falls into that category. Make no mistake - having enough homeowners and auto insurance is an absolute necessity. But there can be too much of a good thing, and a recent study by the Consumer Federation of America indicates that insurance companies are often overcharging us. "We figure that the average American family has paid nearly $900 too much for property insurance and casualty insurance over the last four years," said the federation's Robert Hunter. Here's how to make sure it isn't happening to you: A little shopping A little digging could save you big in the long term. Start by going to the state insurance department's Web site and reviewing information for consumers. Once you've identified several suitable companies, visit the Web site of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ( and compare the complaint ratios of your picks. "Rank your companies, and the ones with a low complaint ratio and low prices are the ones I'd call to get a quote," Hunter said. Ask for discounts Insurers give breaks for stuff like installing security systems in your home and car, keeping your home in good condition and maintaining a safe driving record. Be sure to ask about programs offered by each company. One caveat: These discounts can be very specific, so be mindful of loopholes, according to Jeanne Salvatore of the Insurance Information Institute. Consolidate Just like with phone, cable and Internet bundles, putting all of your insurance policies in the hands of one company could likely save you money. Just be sure that you actually need what you're buying, and the insurer isn't just tacking on extras to make a buck. If you're unsure, go through a broker. Some insurers only take new clients through brokers. Continue Reading