Highbridge Capital Management LLC Takes Position in AutoZone, Inc. (AZO)

Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The firm bought 3,261 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,530,000.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC grew its holdings 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 valued at $145,000 after purchasing an additional 129 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. grew its holdings 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 valued at $158,000 after purchasing an additional 156 shares during the last quarter. ELM Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $163,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $173,000. Finally, Paragon Capital Management Ltd bought a new stake in shares of AutoZone during the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $201,000. 92.10% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NYSE:AZO opened at $868.68 on Friday. AutoZone, Inc. has a one year low of $590.76 and a one year high of $894.37. The company has a market cap of $22.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.26, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 0.89.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, December 4th. The company reported $13.47 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $12.21 by $1.26. AutoZone had a net margin of 12.49% and a negative return on equity of 102.31%. The business had revenue of $2.64 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $10.00 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that AutoZone, Inc. will post 58.58 earnings per share for the current year.

AutoZone announced that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, September 26th that allows the company to buyback $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 6.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, insider Rodney C. Halsell sold 5,387 shares of AutoZone stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $751.21, for a total transaction of $4,046,768.27. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director William Andrew Mckenna sold 3,000 shares of AutoZone stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $747.15, for a total transaction of $2,241,450.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 8,268 shares in the company, valued at $6,177,436.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 60,487 shares of company stock worth $46,667,608. 2.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

AZO has been the topic of several research reports. Stephens raised shares of AutoZone from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $875.00 price target on the stock in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of AutoZone from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $860.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, August 28th. Argus decreased their price target on shares of AutoZone to $820.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 30th. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on shares of AutoZone from $790.00 to $810.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price target on shares of 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. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. AutoZone currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $866.74.

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AutoZone Company Profile

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, carburetors, chassis, clutches, CV axles, engines, fuel pumps, fuses, ignition and lighting products, mufflers, radiators, starters and alternators, thermostats, and water pumps.

See Also: Debt-To-Equity Ratio

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)

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