Operator: Good morning, and welcome to the AutoZone Conference Call. Your lines have been placed on listen-only until the question-and-answer session of the conference. Please be advised today's call is being recorded. If you have any objections, please disconnect at this time.
This conference call will discuss AutoZone's (second) (sic) (third) quarter financial results. Bill Rhodes, the Company's Chairman, President and CEO will be making a short presentation on the highlights of the quarter. The conference call will end promptly at 10.00 am Central Time, 11.00 am Eastern Time.
Before Mr. Rhodes begins, the Company has requested that you listen to the following statements regarding forward-looking statements.
Certain statements contained in this presentation are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements typically use words such as believe, anticipate, should, intend, plan, will, expect, estimate, project, positioned, strategy, and similar expressions. These are based on assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments, and other factors that we believe to be appropriate.
These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, credit market conditions, the impact of recessionary conditions, competition, product demand, the ability to hire and retain qualified employees, consumer debt levels, inflation, weather, raw material costs of our suppliers, energy prices, war and the prospect of war including terrorist activity, availability of consumer transportation, construction delays, access to available and feasible financing, and changes in laws or regulations.
Certain of these risks are discussed in more detail in the Risk Factors section contained in Item 1A under Part 1 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 25, 2012, and these risk factors should be read carefully.
Mr. Rhodes, you may now begin.
William C. Rhodes, III - Chairman, President and CEO: Good morning and thank you for joining us today for AutoZone's 2013 third quarter conference call. With me today are Bill Giles, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, IT and ALLDATA; and Brian Campbell, Vice President, Treasurer, Investor Relations and Tax.
Regarding the third quarter, I hope you have had an opportunity to read our press release and learn about the quarter's results. If not, the press release along with slides complementing our comments today is available on our website, www.autozoneinc.com. Please click on Quarterly Earnings Conference Calls to see them.
To begin this morning, I want to thank all AutoZoners across the globe for another very solid quarter. Similar to last year our sales performance included some significant volatility over the 12 week period. From our perspective, the most important takeaways from the quarter were; one, trends improved during the last four weeks of our quarter. Two, our sales trends in the most challenged markets also improved. Three, retail sales improved during these last four weeks on both a one-year and a two-year basis with positive same-store sales results in that period, a trend we have not been able to report for quite some time. Four, we opened 102 new commercial programs in the quarter and expect Q4 commercial sales to improve from here. Lastly, the capital allocation and earnings model for our Company remains strong and intact.