Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $182.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Advance Auto Parts is focusing to expand its footprint by opening new stores, widening online presence and strategic collaborations. In October, it announced a collaboration with Walmart to create an automotive specialty store on Walmart.com. Additionally, it has rolled out Advance Pro, an e-commerce engine to cater to professional customers, which helped the company to access nearly 20,000 customer orders. Additionally, it is streamlining its supply chain and is opting for store transformation and inventory positioning in order to meet the evolving need of the customers. Over the past six months, shares of Advance Auto Parts have outperformed the industry it belongs to. However, rising expenses several projects launch and store maintenance are concerns.”

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on AAP. UBS Group raised their price objective on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $190.00 to $215.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Bank of America raised their price objective on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $177.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Credit Suisse Group set a $195.00 price objective on shares of Advance Auto Parts and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Advance Auto Parts from $155.00 to $185.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $205.00 price objective on shares of Advance Auto Parts and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 14th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Advance Auto Parts presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $183.06.

Advance Auto Parts stock opened at $166.46 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a current ratio of 1.62. The firm has a market cap of $12.24 billion, a PE ratio of 31.00, a P/E/G ratio of 1.46 and a beta of 1.04. Advance Auto Parts has a fifty-two week low of $102.15 and a fifty-two week high of $186.15.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 13th. The company reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $2.28 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.23 billion. Advance Auto Parts had a net margin of 5.83% and a return on equity of 13.99%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.43 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Advance Auto Parts will post 7.11 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Fiona P. Dias sold 1,048 shares of Advance Auto Parts stock in a transaction on Friday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $177.54, for a total value of $186,061.92. Following the transaction, the director now owns 11,693 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,075,975.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 4.50% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AAP. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in shares of Advance Auto Parts in the third quarter valued at about $219,000. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in shares of Advance Auto Parts by 26.3% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 157,932 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,585,000 after acquiring an additional 32,865 shares during the period. State of New Jersey Common Pension Fund D purchased a new position in shares of Advance Auto Parts in the third quarter valued at about $3,535,000. Sheets Smith Wealth Management purchased a new position in shares of Advance Auto Parts in the third quarter valued at about $392,000. Finally, First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new position in shares of Advance Auto Parts in the third quarter valued at about $393,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.09% of the company’s stock.

About Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts, Inc provides automotive replacement parts, batteries, accessories, and maintenance items for domestic and imported cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, and light and heavy duty trucks. It offers battery accessories, belts and hoses, brakes and brake pads, chassis and climate control parts, clutches and drive shafts, engines and engine parts, exhaust systems and parts, hub assemblies, ignition components and wires, radiators and cooling parts, starters and alternators, and steering and alignment parts.

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