Short Interest in AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) Declines By 16.2%


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AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest during the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 354,700 shares, a decline of 16.2% from the March 31st total of 423,500 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 243,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 1.5 days. Currently, 1.6% of the company’s shares are sold short.

AZO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Stephens boosted their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $1,350.00 to $1,500.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, March 26th. Citigroup initiated coverage on shares of AutoZone in a report on Monday, March 15th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $1,424.00 price objective on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $1,500.00 to $1,600.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, March 29th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $1,505.00 to $1,640.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 31st. Finally, Bank of America reiterated an “underperform” rating and set a $1,390.00 price target on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Tuesday, April 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $1,428.82.

AZO traded up $1.17 on Tuesday, reaching $1,477.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 209,346 shares, compared to its average volume of 235,802. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $1,418.89 and a two-hundred day moving average of $1,240.87. The company has a market capitalization of $32.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.31, a P/E/G ratio of 2.95 and a beta of 0.83. AutoZone has a fifty-two week low of $1,007.17 and a fifty-two week high of $1,524.98.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, March 1st. The company reported $14.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $12.84 by $2.09. The firm had revenue of $2.91 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 139.08% and a net margin of 14.05%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $12.39 earnings per share. On average, research analysts forecast that AutoZone will post 75 EPS for the current year.

In other news, VP Philip B. Daniele sold 3,060 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,191.16, for a total transaction of $3,644,949.60. Also, VP Preston Frazer sold 740 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,322.87, for a total transaction of $978,923.80. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 993 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,313,609.91. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 27,673 shares of company stock worth $35,119,737. Corporate insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of AutoZone by 573.3% in the third quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC now owns 11,527 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,574,000 after acquiring an additional 9,815 shares during the period. Paces Ferry Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the third quarter valued at approximately $33,000. Kathmere Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the third quarter valued at approximately $88,000. Brinker Capital Investments LLC acquired a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the third quarter valued at approximately $2,433,000. Finally, Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its holdings in shares of AutoZone by 42.3% in the third quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 3,746 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,411,000 after acquiring an additional 1,113 shares during the period. 91.56% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About AutoZone

AutoZone, Inc retails and distributes automotive replacement parts and accessories. The company 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. Its products include A/C compressors, batteries and accessories, bearings, belts and hoses, calipers, chassis, clutches, CV axles, engines, fuel pumps, fuses, ignition and lighting products, mufflers, radiators, starters and alternators, thermostats, and water pumps.

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