CINCINNATI, September 26, 2023 -- Cintas Corporation (Nasdaq: CTAS) today reported results for its fiscal 2024 first quarter ended August 31, 2023. Revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2024 was $2.34 billion compared to $2.17 billion in last year’s first quarter, an increase of 8.1%. The organic revenue growth rate for the first quarter of fiscal 2024, which adjusts for the impacts of acquisitions and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, was also 8.1%.
Gross margin for the first quarter of fiscal 2024 was $1.14 billion compared to $1.03 billion in last year’s first quarter, an increase of 11.0%. Gross margin as a percentage of revenue was 48.7% for the first quarter of fiscal 2024 compared to 47.5% in last year's first quarter, an increase of 120 basis points. Energy expenses comprised of gasoline, natural gas and electricity were 50 basis points lower for the first quarter of fiscal 2024 compared to last year's first quarter.
Operating income for the first quarter of fiscal 2024 increased 13.7% to $500.6 million compared to $440.1 million in last year's first quarter. Operating income as a percentage of revenue was 21.4% in the first quarter of fiscal 2024 compared to 20.3% in last year's first quarter.
Net income was $385.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2024 compared to $351.7 million in last year's first quarter. The first quarter of fiscal 2024 effective tax rate was 19.2% compared to 14.8% in last year's first quarter. The tax rates in both quarters were impacted by certain discrete items, primarily the tax accounting impact for stock-based compensation. First quarter of fiscal 2024 diluted earnings per share (EPS) was $3.70 compared to $3.39 in last year's first quarter.
On September 15, 2023, Cintas paid an aggregate quarterly cash dividend of $138.3 million to shareholders, an increase of 17.8% from the amount paid last September.
Todd M. Schneider, Cintas' President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are pleased with our first quarter fiscal 2024 financial results. Our operating segments continue to execute at a high level, leading to robust volume growth and a record high operating margin of 21.4%. These financial results are the product of the exceptional dedication of our employee-partners in helping businesses across North America stay focused on the work that matters most through innovative products and services. I look forward to another successful fiscal year."
Mr. Schneider concluded, "We are increasing our full fiscal year financial guidance. We are raising our annual revenue expectations from a range of $9.35 billion to $9.50 billion to a range of $9.40 billion to $9.52 billion and our diluted EPS from a range of $13.85 to $14.35 to a range of $14.00 to $14.45." Please note the following regarding guidance:
- Fiscal year 2024 interest expense is expected to be approximately $98.0 million compared to $109.5 million in fiscal year 2023, predominately as a result of lower variable rate debt. This may change as a result of future share buybacks or acquisition activity.
- Fiscal year 2024 effective tax rate is expected to be 21.3% compared to a rate of 20.4% in fiscal year 2023. The higher effective tax rate negatively impacts fiscal 2024 diluted EPS guidance by approximately $0.16 and diluted EPS growth by approximately 120 basis points.
- Our diluted EPS guidance includes no future share buybacks.
- Guidance includes the impact of having one more workday in fiscal year 2024 compared to fiscal year 2023.