AutoZone’s (AZO) “Overweight” Rating Reiterated at Stephens
Stephens reaffirmed their overweight rating on shares of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) in a report released on Wednesday, The Fly reports. Stephens currently has a $975.00 price objective on the stock.
A number of other brokerages have also commented on AZO. Credit Suisse Group set a $854.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday. Wells Fargo & Co restated a buy rating and set a $970.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a report on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank set a $940.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, November 26th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of AutoZone from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, December 3rd. Finally, Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $850.00 to $985.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, December 3rd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $866.74.
Shares of NYSE:AZO opened at $870.16 on Wednesday. AutoZone has a 12 month low of $590.76 and a 12 month high of $894.37. The firm has a market cap of $22.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.29, a P/E/G ratio of 1.22 and a beta of 0.89.
AutoZone declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, September 26th that allows the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, VP William T. Giles sold 13,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $870.11, for a total value of $11,746,485.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 13,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,414,973.09. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Charles Pleas III sold 9,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $759.85, for a total transaction of $7,218,575.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 13,862 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,533,040.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 79,687 shares of company stock valued at $63,373,093. 2.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in AZO. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC bought a new position in AutoZone in the second quarter valued at $514,000. Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in AutoZone in the second quarter valued at $203,000. Paragon Capital Management Ltd bought a new position in AutoZone in the second quarter valued at $201,000. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in AutoZone by 3.5% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 12,485 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,377,000 after purchasing an additional 424 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its position in AutoZone by 10.7% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,949 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,650,000 after purchasing an additional 382 shares in the last quarter. 92.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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.
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