Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of AutoZone Inc. (NYSE:AZO) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning. The brokerage currently has $840.00 price objective on the stock, up from their prior price objective of $820.00.
“Besides these potential top-line drivers, AZO’s valuation is undemanding, tradingat~16.5x’17e EPS and ~11x EBITDA, which is attractive relative to the business’ low-DD EPS and HSD EBITDA growth. Near-term expectations have been appropriately set with management’s characterization of Q4’s sales pickup as ‘modest.'”The brokerage is not worried much about slowing commercial sales and e-commerce concerns, as top-line growth would outweigh the risk factors. The analyst pointed out that the “change in the seven-year-old vehicle cohort,” the firm’s analyst wrote.
AZO has been the topic of a number of other reports. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed a sector perform rating and set a $855.00 target price (down from $873.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Argus reiterated a buy rating and issued a $875.00 price target on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Sunday, July 10th. Wedbush reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $870.00 price target on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Susquehanna initiated coverage on AutoZone in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. They issued a neutral rating and a $810.00 price target for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded AutoZone from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $858.24.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) opened at 765.76 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $759.36 and its 200-day moving average price is $776.30. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.81 and a beta of 0.42. AutoZone has a 52 week low of $681.01 and a 52 week high of $819.54.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, September 22nd. The company reported $14.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $14.25 by $0.05. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 69.23% and a net margin of 11.67%. The business had revenue of $3.40 billion for the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $12.75 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that AutoZone will post $45.46 earnings per share for the current year.
In related news, Director Earl G. Graves, Jr. sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $795.24, for a total transaction of $795,240.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 4,127 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,281,955.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William Andrew Mckenna sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $800.25, for a total value of $2,400,750.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 7,597 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,079,499.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Evercore Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 1.7% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 81,985 shares of the company’s stock valued at $65,083,000 after buying an additional 1,404 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the second quarter valued at approximately $957,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the second quarter valued at approximately $2,016,000. Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the second quarter valued at approximately $3,193,000. Finally, CI Global Investments Inc. boosted its stake in shares of AutoZone by 29.7% in the second quarter. CI Global Investments Inc. now owns 17,375 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,793,000 after buying an additional 3,975 shares during the last quarter. 95.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
AutoZone Company Profile
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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