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

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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AutoZone Inc. (NYSE:AZO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $889.00 price objective on the stock.

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 research firms have also commented on AZO. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $870.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, September 17th. Barclays PLC restated an overweight rating and issued a $870.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Sunday, September 25th. Argus restated a buy rating and issued a $875.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Saturday, October 22nd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. set a $841.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, September 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $820.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. 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 given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $855.63.

Shares of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) opened at 797.96 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.61 and a beta of 0.61. AutoZone has a 52 week low of $681.01 and a 52 week high of $819.54. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $753.08 and its 200 day moving average price is $767.66.

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

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Alpha Windward LLC raised its position in shares of 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 period. Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its position in shares of AutoZone by 0.4% in the second quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 1,418 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,124,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the period. Lakeview Capital Partners LLC raised its position in shares of AutoZone by 1.0% in the second quarter. Lakeview Capital Partners LLC now owns 483 shares of the company’s stock valued at $383,000 after buying an additional 5 shares during the period. Cleararc Capital Inc. raised its position in shares of AutoZone by 0.8% in the second quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 743 shares of the company’s stock valued at $590,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC raised its position in shares of AutoZone by 1.0% in the second quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 723 shares of the company’s stock valued at $574,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. 94.06% of the stock is 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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