Rafferty Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) in the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor purchased 396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $307,000.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC lifted its position in AutoZone by 222.4% in the 3rd quarter. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC now owns 187 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 129 shares during the last quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. lifted its position in AutoZone by 197.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 235 shares of the company’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 156 shares during the last quarter. ELM Advisors LLC bought a new stake in AutoZone in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $163,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC bought a new stake in AutoZone in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $173,000. Finally, Truepoint Inc. bought a new stake in AutoZone in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $201,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.10% of the company’s stock.

AutoZone stock opened at $880.07 on Wednesday. AutoZone, Inc. has a 12 month low of $590.76 and a 12 month high of $894.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.48, a P/E/G ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 0.89.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, December 4th. The company reported $13.47 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $12.21 by $1.26. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 99.70% and a net margin of 11.92%. The business had revenue of $2.64 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $10.00 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that AutoZone, Inc. will post 57.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

AutoZone announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, September 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 6.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other AutoZone news, insider Rodney C. Halsell sold 5,387 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $751.21, for a total value of $4,046,768.27. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William Andrew Mckenna sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $747.15, for a total value of $2,241,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 8,268 shares in the company, valued at $6,177,436.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 60,487 shares of company stock worth $46,667,608 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

AZO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $854.00 target price on AutoZone and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $970.00 price target on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research cut AutoZone from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Citigroup upped their price target on AutoZone from $850.00 to $985.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $940.00 price target on AutoZone and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, November 26th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. AutoZone presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $822.07.

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About AutoZone

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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Want to see what other hedge funds are holding AZO? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for AutoZone (NYSE:AZO)

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