Short Interest in AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) Declines By 16.2%


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AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) saw a large drop in short interest in April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 354,700 shares, a drop of 16.2% from the March 31st total of 423,500 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 243,100 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.5 days. Approximately 1.6% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Shares of AZO stock traded up $1.17 on Tuesday, reaching $1,477.00. 209,346 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 235,802. AutoZone has a 12-month low of $1,007.17 and a 12-month high of $1,524.98. The company has a market capitalization of $32.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.95 and a beta of 0.83. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $1,418.89 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $1,240.87.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, March 1st. The company reported $14.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $12.84 by $2.09. AutoZone had a negative return on equity of 139.08% and a net margin of 14.05%. The business had revenue of $2.91 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.64 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $12.39 earnings per share. AutoZone’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that AutoZone will post 75 EPS for the current year.

AZO has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Citigroup initiated coverage on AutoZone in a research report on Monday, March 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $1,424.00 price target for the company. Stephens boosted their price target on AutoZone from $1,350.00 to $1,500.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, March 26th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on AutoZone from $1,505.00 to $1,640.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 31st. Oppenheimer reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $1,500.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone in a research note on Wednesday, March 3rd. Finally, Citigroup Inc. 3% Minimum Coupon Principal Protected Based Upon Russell assumed coverage on AutoZone in a research note on Monday, March 15th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $1,424.00 price objective on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $1,428.82.

In related news, VP Philip B. Daniele sold 3,060 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,191.16, for a total transaction of $3,644,949.60. Also, CEO William C. Rhodes III sold 11,250 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,250.02, for a total value of $14,062,725.00. In the last quarter, insiders sold 27,673 shares of company stock valued at $35,119,737. Insiders own 2.80% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Paces Ferry Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in AutoZone in the third quarter valued at about $33,000. Key Financial Inc purchased a new position in AutoZone in the fourth quarter valued at about $40,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc grew its stake in AutoZone by 34.8% in the first quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 31 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,000 after purchasing an additional 8 shares in the last quarter. Freedman Financial Associates Inc. purchased a new position in AutoZone in the fourth quarter valued at about $58,000. Finally, Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. grew its stake in AutoZone by 118.2% in the first quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 48 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,000 after purchasing an additional 26 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.56% of the company’s stock.

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, 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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