AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $2.63 Billion

Equities research analysts forecast that AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) will announce $2.63 billion in sales for the current quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Eight analysts have issued estimates for AutoZone’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $2.58 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $2.67 billion. AutoZone posted sales of $2.59 billion during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 1.5%. The firm is expected to issue its next earnings results on Tuesday, December 4th.

On average, analysts expect that AutoZone will report full year sales of $11.77 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $11.67 billion to $11.90 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will post sales of $11.98 billion, with estimates ranging from $11.81 billion to $12.12 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that follow AutoZone.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, September 18th. The company reported $18.54 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $17.92 by $0.62. AutoZone had a net margin of 11.92% and a negative return on equity of 99.70%. The business had revenue of $3.56 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.60 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $15.27 earnings per share. AutoZone’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on the stock. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of AutoZone from $760.00 to $800.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Citigroup raised their price target on shares of AutoZone from $765.00 to $850.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Royal Bank of Canada lowered their price target on shares of AutoZone from $779.00 to $775.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Stephens reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $825.00 price target on shares of AutoZone in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of AutoZone to $880.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 19th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $790.65.

In other news, Director William Andrew Mckenna sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $747.15, for a total value of $2,241,450.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 8,268 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,177,436.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman William C. Rhodes III sold 23,700 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $780.06, for a total transaction of $18,487,422.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now owns 37,918 shares in the company, valued at $29,578,315.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 60,487 shares of company stock worth $46,667,608. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of AZO. American Century Companies Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $120,225,000. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 435.3% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 156,439 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,960,000 after purchasing an additional 127,214 shares in the last quarter. Unigestion Holding SA acquired a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $66,555,000. Point72 Asset Management L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $61,390,000. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its position in AutoZone by 4.4% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,034,551 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,578,202,000 after buying an additional 84,961 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.56% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:AZO opened at $793.87 on Friday. AutoZone has a 52 week low of $588.56 and a 52 week high of $802.22. The stock has a market cap of $19.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 0.89.

AutoZone declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, September 26th that permits the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

About AutoZone

AutoZone, Inc retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. It offers various products for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans, and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. The company's products include A/C compressors, batteries and accessories, bearings, belts and hoses, calipers, carburetors, chassis, clutches, CV axles, engines, fuel pumps, fuses, ignition and lighting products, mufflers, radiators, thermostats, starters and alternators, and water pumps.

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