Wedbush Upgrades AutoZone (AZO) to “Outperform”

Wedbush upgraded shares of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research report report published on Thursday morning, MarketBeat reports. They currently have $750.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $670.00. Wedbush also issued estimates for AutoZone’s Q3 2018 earnings at $12.88 EPS.

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded AutoZone from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Credit Suisse Group raised AutoZone to a buy rating and set a $790.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Citigroup cut their price objective on AutoZone from $820.00 to $790.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on AutoZone from $800.00 to $750.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, February 28th. Finally, Argus upped their price objective on AutoZone from $675.00 to $875.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. AutoZone currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $758.72.

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Shares of NYSE AZO traded down $20.93 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $616.45. 250,629 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 446,859. The company has a market cap of $17,131.34, a P/E ratio of 14.50, a P/E/G ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.79, a quick ratio of 0.15 and a current ratio of 0.98. AutoZone has a 12 month low of $491.13 and a 12 month high of $797.89.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 27th. The company reported $8.47 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $8.81 by ($0.34). The company had revenue of $2.41 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.39 billion. AutoZone had a net margin of 12.00% and a negative return on equity of 88.86%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $7.75 EPS. equities analysts predict that AutoZone will post 49.48 EPS for the current year.

AutoZone announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Tuesday, March 20th that permits the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other AutoZone news, insider Philip B. Daniele sold 740 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $780.37, for a total value of $577,473.80. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,058 shares in the company, valued at approximately $825,631.46. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider James C. Griffith sold 1,250 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, January 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $794.70, for a total value of $993,375.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 1,353 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,075,229.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 3,537 shares of company stock valued at $2,782,150 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of AZO. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the 4th quarter worth $211,000. First Republic Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the 4th quarter worth $202,000. Bfsg LLC purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the 4th quarter worth $213,000. Paragon Capital Management Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the 4th quarter worth $213,000. Finally, John G Ullman & Associates Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the 4th quarter worth $213,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.83% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)

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