Zacks Investment Research cut shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past one year, AutoZone has underperformed the industry it belongs to. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current quarter earnings per share has declined. A spate of store openings is raising costs for AutoZone. This is not only adding to capital & operating expenses but also inventory per store. Also increasing frequency of deliveries to its stores to three or five times a week from once is a headwind before it. However, 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 of auto parts.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. UBS AG restated a buy rating and set a $655.00 target price (down from $725.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Citigroup Inc. restated a buy rating and set a $700.00 target price on shares of AutoZone in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Wedbush restated a hold rating and set a $580.00 target price (down from $590.00) on shares of AutoZone in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Credit Suisse Group restated a buy rating and set a $583.00 target price on shares of AutoZone in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada cut their price objective on AutoZone from $577.00 to $571.00 and set a sector perform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. AutoZone currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $724.45.

AutoZone (AZO) opened at $632.40 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $17,390.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.40, a PEG ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.65. AutoZone has a 52-week low of $491.13 and a 52-week high of $813.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -3.56, a current ratio of 0.97 and a quick ratio of 0.15.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, September 19th. The company reported $15.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $15.11 by $0.07. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 74.48% and a net margin of 11.76%. The company had revenue of $3.51 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.49 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $14.30 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that AutoZone will post 46.78 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, Director William Andrew Mckenna sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $584.96, for a total value of $1,754,880.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 8,131 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,756,309.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 2.80% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio grew its stake in shares of AutoZone by 3.3% in the 3rd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 45,781 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,245,000 after buying an additional 1,483 shares during the last quarter. Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC grew its stake in shares of AutoZone by 31.6% in the 3rd quarter. Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC now owns 537 shares of the company’s stock worth $320,000 after buying an additional 129 shares during the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $503,000. Dean Investment Associates LLC purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $2,888,000. Finally, Marco Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of AutoZone by 46.0% in the 3rd quarter. Marco Investment Management LLC now owns 2,723 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,620,000 after buying an additional 858 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 98.66% of the company’s stock.

About AutoZone

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.

Analyst Recommendations for AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)

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