Shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty-one analysts that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation, eleven have assigned a buy recommendation and one has issued a strong buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $784.77.
AZO has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. MED raised AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $675.00 to $805.00 in a report on Wednesday, August 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America cut AutoZone from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $830.00 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, September 17th. Citigroup lifted their price objective on AutoZone from $765.00 to $850.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. Royal Bank of Canada cut their price objective on AutoZone from $779.00 to $775.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price objective on AutoZone from $800.00 to $850.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
AZO stock traded up $5.86 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $766.35. The stock had a trading volume of 181,679 shares, compared to its average volume of 357,422. The stock has a market cap of $19.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.22, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.06 and a beta of 0.89. AutoZone has a 52 week low of $588.56 and a 52 week high of $797.89.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, September 18th. The company reported $18.54 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $17.92 by $0.62. The firm had revenue of $3.56 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.60 billion. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 99.70% and a net margin of 11.92%. AutoZone’s quarterly revenue was up 1.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $15.27 earnings per share. Research analysts anticipate that AutoZone will post 58.41 EPS for the current fiscal year.
AutoZone declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, September 26th that allows the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to purchase up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, insider William W. Graves sold 18,900 shares of AutoZone stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $776.37, for a total value of $14,673,393.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 3,450 shares in the company, valued at $2,678,476.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Rodney C. Halsell sold 5,387 shares of AutoZone stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $751.21, for a total value of $4,046,768.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 60,487 shares of company stock valued at $46,667,608 over the last ninety days. 2.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC grew its position in shares of AutoZone by 222.4% during the 3rd quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC now owns 187 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 129 shares during the period. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its position in shares of AutoZone by 197.5% during the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 235 shares of the company’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 156 shares during the period. First Interstate Bank grew its position in shares of AutoZone by 332.7% during the 2nd quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 238 shares of the company’s stock worth $160,000 after buying an additional 183 shares during the period. ELM Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone during the 3rd quarter worth about $163,000. Finally, Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of AutoZone during the 2nd quarter worth about $173,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.56% of the company’s stock.
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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