Advance Auto Parts (AAP) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Advance Auto Parts is streamlining its supply chain and is opting for store transformation and inventory positioning in order to meet the evolving need of the customers. It is focusing to expand its footprint by opening new stores, widening online presence and strategic collaborations. It has also collaborated with Walmart to create an automotive specialty store on Walmart.com. Also, the company’s stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to, over the past three months. However, new store openings, acquisitions and investments are leading to increased capital expenses of the company. Also, improved quality of new vehicles impeding demand for automotive maintenance is a concern for Advance Auto Parts. Further, dependence on seasonality and weather conditions places the company’s sales in a risky position in case of mild weather conditions.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Citigroup boosted their price target on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $155.00 to $185.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. UBS Group boosted their price target on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $190.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price target on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $220.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Bank of America boosted their price target on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $177.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $205.00 price target on shares of Advance Auto Parts and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $178.76.

AAP stock opened at $163.78 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a current ratio of 1.62 and a quick ratio of 0.49. Advance Auto Parts has a one year low of $98.03 and a one year high of $186.15. The company has a market capitalization of $11.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.50, a P/E/G ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 1.06.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 13th. The company reported $1.89 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.14. Advance Auto Parts had a net margin of 5.83% and a return on equity of 13.99%. The business had revenue of $2.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.23 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.43 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Advance Auto Parts will post 7.11 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 4th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 21st will be paid a $0.06 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 20th. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.15%. Advance Auto Parts’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 4.47%.

In other news, Director Fiona P. Dias sold 1,048 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $177.54, for a total value of $186,061.92. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 11,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,075,975.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 4.50% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in AAP. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its holdings in Advance Auto Parts by 126.8% during the 3rd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 2,066 shares of the company’s stock valued at $348,000 after buying an additional 1,155 shares during the last quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. bought a new stake in Advance Auto Parts during the 3rd quarter valued at $10,698,000. Clearbridge Investments LLC raised its holdings in Advance Auto Parts by 10.4% during the 3rd quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 401,338 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,557,000 after buying an additional 37,818 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in Advance Auto Parts by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 7,380,130 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,242,297,000 after buying an additional 102,366 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its holdings in Advance Auto Parts by 138.7% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 532,494 shares of the company’s stock valued at $89,634,000 after buying an additional 309,406 shares during the last quarter. 97.72% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts, Inc provides automotive replacement parts, batteries, accessories, and maintenance items for domestic and imported cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, and light and heavy duty trucks. It offers battery accessories, belts and hoses, brakes and brake pads, chassis and climate control parts, clutches and drive shafts, engines and engine parts, exhaust systems and parts, hub assemblies, ignition components and wires, radiators and cooling parts, starters and alternators, and steering and alignment parts.

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