AutoZone Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Friday.
According to Zacks, “AutoZone reported a rise in earnings per share for fourth-quarter fiscal 2016. Earnings marginally surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Quarterly revenues improved year over year but lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate. AutoZone is focused on increasing sales through store expansion and boosting earnings via aggressive share repurchases. Moreover, the rising average age of cars on U.S. roads is leading to higher demand for auto parts. AutoZone expects its capital and operating expenses to rise over the next three years due to its plans to open new distribution centers. The company is also increasing the frequency of deliveries to its stores. While AutoZone expects this strategy to be advantageous in the long term, its implementation is leading to gross margin headwinds due to higher supply chain costs.”
Several other analysts have also issued reports on AZO. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $870.00 price target on AutoZone and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, September 17th. BTIG Research began coverage on AutoZone in a report on Wednesday, June 1st. They set a “buy” rating and a $900.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley reissued an “equal weight” rating and set a $820.00 price target on shares of AutoZone in a report on Thursday, May 26th. Royal Bank Of Canada cut their price target on AutoZone from $873.00 to $855.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a report on Friday. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted their price target on AutoZone from $841.00 to $874.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, nine have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $857.13.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) opened at 758.88 on Friday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $761.94 and a 200-day moving average price of $776.57. AutoZone has a 52-week low of $681.01 and a 52-week high of $819.54. The company has a market cap of $22.10 billion, a PE ratio of 18.65 and a beta of 0.42.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 22nd. The company reported $14.30 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $14.25 by $0.05. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 68.63% and a net margin of 11.55%. The company earned $3.40 billion during the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $12.75 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that AutoZone will post $45.45 EPS for the current year.
In other news, VP Albert Saltiel sold 1,650 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $807.52, for a total value of $1,332,408.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 1,734 shares in the company, valued at $1,400,239.68. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Earl G. Graves, Jr. sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $795.24, for a total value of $795,240.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 4,127 shares in the company, valued at $3,281,955.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of AZO. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its stake in shares of AutoZone by 1.4% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 3,182 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,535,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Boston Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of AutoZone by 6.6% in the first quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 730 shares of the company’s stock valued at $582,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. PGGM Investments increased its stake in shares of AutoZone by 3.8% in the first quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 26,056 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,759,000 after buying an additional 948 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc increased its stake in shares of AutoZone by 54.2% in the first quarter. Commonwealth Equity Services Inc now owns 765 shares of the company’s stock valued at $609,000 after buying an additional 269 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. increased its stake in shares of AutoZone by 0.4% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. now owns 7,527 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,997,000 after buying an additional 30 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.55% of the company’s stock.
AutoZone, Inc is a retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. The Company’s operating segments include Auto Parts Locations and Other. The Auto Parts Locations segment comprises Domestic Auto Parts, Mexico, Brazil and Interamerican Motor Corporation (IMC).
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