The newest Bentonville behemoth, America’s Car-Mart, hit the road at full speed this year and the company’s stock is expected to continue its rally. Car-Mart shares (NASDAQ:CRMT) have risen 104% in the past year on robust profits and healthy earnings. For the past 52-weeks the share price has ranged from a low $22.77 to a high $46.40, reached Friday (Feb. 17.)
Car-Mart shares headed into the caution lap trading as low as $43.19 around mid-day Friday as some investors likely took profits from the prior-day 13% rally. But analysts peg the stock to hit $55 in the next 12 months.That estimate is grounded in steady earnings forecast for fiscal 2013.
David Burtzlaff, analyst with Stephens Inc., estimates the buy here, pay here auto dealer will post earnings of $3.70 per share in fiscal 2013, which begins May 1. He has raised his target price to $55 from $43, since the recent earnings report.
Car-Mart earned $2.28 per share in the last three quarters, outperforming Wall Street expectations in each period. The company’s fiscal 2012 will end April 30 and analysts expect full year earnings to hit $3.25 per share, 28% above fiscal 2011 results.
Though the company does not pay a cash dividend, Jeff Williams, chief financial officer, said the $29.9 million share repurchase has helped return substantial value to shareholders. The 2.28 million shares repurchased equals 19.4% of the company’s outstanding stock.
By the end of day Friday, Car-Mart shares rebounded to finish at $45.95, up 1.19% and a record closing price for the past year. Shares will resume trading Tuesday (Feb. 21) following Monday’s market closure in observance of President’s Day.