AutoZone (AZO) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has $819.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AutoZone’s quarterly results has been going up of late. The company’s strong cash flow helps it to open new stores every year and repurchase shares aggressively, without compromising on its financial strength. Also, the average age of cars is rising that creates an increased demand for auto parts. Over the past six months, AutoZone has outperformed the industry it belongs to.”
A number of other research analysts have also commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group set a $640.00 target price on AutoZone and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Barclays upped their target price on AutoZone from $710.00 to $800.00 in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. UBS Group restated a buy rating and issued a $750.00 target price (up from $655.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Wednesday, November 29th. Raymond James Financial restated a hold rating on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Saturday, December 2nd. Finally, Robert W. Baird restated a hold rating and issued a $590.00 target price on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. AutoZone currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $747.06.
AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, December 5th. The company reported $10.00 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $9.90 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.54 billion. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 78.83% and a net margin of 11.66%. AutoZone’s revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $9.36 earnings per share. research analysts predict that AutoZone will post 49.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other AutoZone news, VP Charles Pleas III sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $700.00, for a total transaction of $7,000,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 14,377 shares in the company, valued at $10,063,900. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider James C. Griffith sold 3,623 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $698.17, for a total value of $2,529,469.91. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 2,016 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,407,510.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 96,710 shares of company stock valued at $69,098,826 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cetera Investment Advisers grew its holdings in shares of AutoZone by 1.1% during the second quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 730 shares of the company’s stock worth $417,000 after purchasing an additional 8 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its holdings in shares of AutoZone by 4.0% during the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 1,165 shares of the company’s stock worth $665,000 after purchasing an additional 45 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. grew its holdings in shares of AutoZone by 7.7% during the second quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 745 shares of the company’s stock worth $424,000 after purchasing an additional 53 shares during the last quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of AutoZone by 3.4% during the second quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 2,273 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,297,000 after purchasing an additional 74 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Citizens Financial Group Inc. RI grew its holdings in shares of AutoZone by 5.2% during the third quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc. RI now owns 1,734 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,032,000 after purchasing an additional 86 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 99.00% of the company’s stock.
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AutoZone Company Profile
Autozone, Inc is a retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. The Company operates through the Auto Parts Locations segment. The Auto Parts Locations segment is a retailer and distributor of automotive parts and accessories. As of August 27, 2016, the Company operated through 5,814 locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Brazil.
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