Bentonville-based America’s Automotive-Mart has established a job pressure to reply to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak because the purchase right here, pay right here used automotive supplier’s inventory worth hit a 52-week low.
In a press release on the corporate’s web site, CEO Jeff Williams stated the corporate has developed plans and established a job pressure to reply to the outbreak, primarily based on steering from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), the World Well being Group and public well being companies.
“Our greatest precedence at America’s Automotive-Mart is the security of our associates and prospects,” Williams wrote. “We’re dedicated to sustaining a protected and wholesome office for our associates and serving to our prospects do the identical. We’re carefully monitoring the continued COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and staying on high of this evolving state of affairs.
“As our native communities begin to really feel the affect of the coronavirus, I wish to personally replace you and share the steps we’re taking at Automotive-Mart to make sure your well being and security. We wish you to really feel assured whenever you go to a Automotive-Mart facility to make your funds or to buy a car.”
Williams additionally defined the procedures the corporate has in place to maintain its dealerships and company workplace clear.
“We now have ramped up our cleansing efforts,” Williams stated. “We now have enhanced our cleansing and sanitization efforts in our shops, company workplace and autos. We’re continuously disinfecting high-touched surfaces corresponding to door handles, counter tops, keypads and restroom surfaces, in addition to car door handles and steering wheels.” Workers will put on disposable gloves when making use of disinfectant sprays and cleansing options.
Workers even have been requested to stay residence if they’ve chilly or flu-like signs or if they’ve been identified with COVID-19.
“Relaxation assured, we’ll proceed to observe this altering circumstance carefully,” Williams stated. “We will likely be diligent in taking the mandatory actions to assist restrict the unfold of the virus — and guaranteeing clear, wholesome environments in our shops and autos. Lastly, we’ll maintain you knowledgeable and up to date alongside the best way.”
Williams additionally famous prospects could make their funds on-line by way of automated financial institution draft with out a price. One-time funds made on-line or these revamped the cellphone require a $2.20 price per transaction. Funds are also accepted at dealerships with out a price.
All Automotive-Mart dealerships stay open at common enterprise hours amid the outbreak, and the corporate has but to restrict retailer hours or quickly shut any places. As of Jan. 31, Automotive-Mart had 145 dealerships in 11 states in smaller cities all through the south-central United States and has plans to open dealerships in Cabot, Chattanooga, Tenn., Edmond, Okla., Norman, Okla., and purchase three dealerships in Illinois via the acquisition of Taylor Motors.
“We’re a small-town character lender, and our prospects rely on us to be there for them when wants come up as associated to their autos,” Williams stated. “We’re a significant a part of our communities, and we’ve got an obligation to help our associates, our prospects and assist our communities. We take this very critically and are working onerous to cut back stress ranges for these most affected. For 39 years we’ve got been working with prospects who face credit score challenges, and we will likely be there for them now.”
When requested how COVID-19 has impacted the enterprise with regard to gross sales and buyer visitors, Williams stated the corporate is monitoring visitors, and it’s too early to determine the way it will have an effect on the enterprise.
“We’re hyper-focused on cleansing protocol and social distancing and monitoring our associates to assist guarantee they’re protected and wholesome,” Williams added.
On Feb. 19, Automotive-Mart reported third-quarter earnings for the interval that ended Jan. 31 elevated 16.5% to $12.68 million, or $1.83 per diluted share. Income rose 15.9% to $186.73 million. By the primary three quarters of fiscal 2020, earnings elevated 27.3% to $42.05 million, or $6.03 per share. Income elevated 11.5% to $548.92 million.
The subsequent day, shares of Automotive-Mart (NASDAQ: CRMT) closed at a document excessive of $129.70. The inventory had closed above $100 since Nov. 22, 2019, when it closed at $101.31.
Since then, the inventory worth has declined and fell to a 52-week low of $35.18 on Wednesday (March 18). The inventory closed Wednesday at $38.50, and that final time the inventory closed within the $30 vary was Sept. 12, 2017, when it closed at $39.70. The inventory was buying and selling Thursday (March 19) at $42.69, up $4.19 or 10.88%.
Let’s block advertisements! (Why?)