AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) was upgraded by research analysts at Wedbush from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $750.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $670.00. Wedbush’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 20.90% from the company’s current price. Wedbush also issued estimates for AutoZone’s Q3 2018 earnings at $12.88 EPS.
Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on AZO. Credit Suisse Group set a $790.00 price objective on AutoZone and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Citigroup dropped their price objective on AutoZone from $820.00 to $790.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, March 1st. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on AutoZone from $800.00 to $750.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, February 28th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and set a $720.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded AutoZone from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the stock. AutoZone currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $758.72.
AZO stock opened at $620.36 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.79. AutoZone has a 52-week low of $491.13 and a 52-week high of $797.89. The company has a market cap of $17,131.34, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.41, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.00 and a beta of 0.84.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 27th. The company reported $8.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $8.81 by ($0.34). AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 88.86% and a net margin of 12.00%. The business had revenue of $2.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.39 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $7.75 earnings per share. AutoZone’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that AutoZone will post 49.48 EPS for the current fiscal year.
AutoZone announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan 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 plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, insider James C. Griffith sold 1,250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 owns 1,353 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,075,229.10. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider James C. Griffith sold 1,547 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $783.00, for a total value of $1,211,301.00. 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.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. First Republic Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in AutoZone during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in AutoZone during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $211,000. Bfsg LLC acquired a new position in AutoZone during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Paragon Capital Management Ltd acquired a new position in AutoZone during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Finally, John G Ullman & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in AutoZone during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.83% of the company’s stock.
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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.
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