Wedbush Brokers Increase Earnings Estimates for AutoZone (AZO)

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) – Investment analysts at Wedbush boosted their Q3 2018 earnings estimates for AutoZone in a research note issued on Thursday, April 5th. Wedbush analyst S. Basham now anticipates that the company will post earnings per share of $12.88 for the quarter, up from their prior estimate of $12.44. Wedbush has a “Outperform” rating and a $750.00 price target on the stock.

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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 Zacks’ consensus estimate of $8.81 by ($0.34). The firm had revenue of $2.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.39 billion. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 88.86% and a net margin of 12.00%. The firm’s revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $7.75 EPS.

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on AZO. Credit Suisse Group set a $790.00 target price on shares of AutoZone and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Stephens set a $840.00 target price on shares of AutoZone and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 16th. Argus upped their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $675.00 to $875.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $819.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $800.00 to $750.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $758.72.

AutoZone stock opened at $620.36 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $17,131.34, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.41, a PEG ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.79, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.15. AutoZone has a fifty-two week low of $491.13 and a fifty-two week high of $797.89.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. raised its position in AutoZone by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Burgundy Asset Management Ltd. now owns 600,471 shares of the company’s stock worth $427,157,000 after purchasing an additional 8,451 shares in the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC raised its position in AutoZone by 250.1% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 446,202 shares of the company’s stock worth $317,415,000 after purchasing an additional 318,764 shares in the last quarter. Vulcan Value Partners LLC acquired a new position in AutoZone in the fourth quarter worth about $291,129,000. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in AutoZone by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 287,964 shares of the company’s stock worth $204,416,000 after purchasing an additional 5,261 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alyeska Investment Group L.P. acquired a new position in AutoZone in the third quarter worth about $141,811,000. 95.83% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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

AutoZone declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback program on Tuesday, March 20th that allows the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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AutoZone Company Profile

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)

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