Today, The Zacks Investment Research Upgraded AutoZone Inc. (AZO) to Buy

Today, The Zacks Investment Research Upgraded AutoZone Inc. (AZO) to Buy
AutoZone Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $889.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective points to a potential upside of 11.40% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “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. AutoZone’s estimates have been stable over the past 30 days. The company has a mostly positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

A number of other analysts also recently commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $814.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a report on Wednesday. Argus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $875.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a report on Saturday, October 22nd. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $810.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a report on Wednesday, October 19th. TheStreet downgraded shares of AutoZone from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 28th. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised shares of AutoZone from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $820.00 to $840.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $855.63.

Shares of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) opened at 798.05 on Wednesday. AutoZone has a one year low of $681.01 and a one year high of $819.54. The firm has a market cap of $23.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.61 and a beta of 0.61. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $752.25 and its 200-day moving average is $767.56.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 22nd. The company reported $14.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $14.25 by $0.05. AutoZone had a net margin of 11.67% and a negative return on equity of 69.23%. The business had revenue of $3.40 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $12.75 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that AutoZone will post $45.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its stake in AutoZone by 27.6% in the third quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 162 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Invictus RG raised its stake in AutoZone by 489.7% in the second quarter. Invictus RG now owns 171 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 142 shares during the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its stake in AutoZone by 89.1% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 82 shares during the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in AutoZone by 126.3% in the second quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 215 shares of the company’s stock valued at $171,000 after buying an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alpha Windward LLC raised its stake in AutoZone by 0.8% in the third quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 242 shares of the company’s stock valued at $186,000 after buying an additional 2 shares during the last quarter. 97.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About AutoZone

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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