On March 9, 2015, Casey’s General Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq symbol CASY) reported diluted earnings per share of $1.01 for the third quarter of fiscal 2015 ended January 31, 2015, compared to $0.33 per share for the same quarter a year ago.  Year to date, diluted earnings per share were $3.57 compared to $2.73 a year ago. “Casey’s experienced significant inside sales growth throughout the third quarter,” stated Chairman and CEO Robert J. Myers. “The steady decline in wholesale gasoline costs was favorable to fuel margins, and the low price of gasoline drove sales in all of our business categories. Total gross profit rose 26.9% for the third quarter.”

Operating expenses for Casey’s increased 12.5% year to date.  “Operating expenses are up primarily due to the unit growth we have experienced since this time a year ago, along with store replacements and the various initiatives we have in place to grow sales throughout our chain,” said Myers. Store level operating expenses that have not been impacted by the initiatives were up 2.4% for the quarter.

The Company’s annual goal is to build or acquire 72 to 108 stores and replace 25 existing stores. As of the end of the third fiscal quarter, the Company opened 33 new stores and acquired 32 stores. The Company also completed 25 replacements. In January, the Company completed the expansion of the Distribution Center in Ankeny, Iowa, and is expecting to complete the construction of a second distribution center in Terre Haute, Indiana in February 2016. “The Company is well positioned to take advantage of any acquisition opportunity that may become available,” Myers said. “We are in excellent financial shape to continue to build and acquire stores, and we will maintain our disciplined approach when evaluating potential acquisitions.” The Company currently has 26 new and 11 replacement stores under construction.

At its March meeting, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share. The dividend is payable May 15, 2015 to shareholders of record on May 1, 2015.

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