Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “In third-quarter 2018, Advance Auto Parts’ adjusted earnings and revenues surpassed the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate and the year-ago quarter figures. The company is streamlining its supply chain and is opting for store transformation and inventory positioning in order to meet the evolving need of the customers. It is focusing to expand its footprint by opening new stores, widening online presence and strategic collaborations. Earlier in October, the company collaborated with Walmart to create an automotive specialty store on Walmart.com. Also, the company’s stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to, over the past three months. However, new store openings, acquisitions and investments are leading to increased capital expenses of the company.”

AAP has been the subject of several other research reports. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on Advance Auto Parts from $195.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 6th. Wedbush upped their target price on Advance Auto Parts from $175.00 to $185.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, October 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on Advance Auto Parts from $220.00 to $222.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. Citigroup raised Advance Auto Parts from a sell rating to a neutral rating and set a $85.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 14th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on Advance Auto Parts to $170.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $178.76.

Shares of AAP stock opened at $167.59 on Wednesday. Advance Auto Parts has a fifty-two week low of $97.38 and a fifty-two week high of $186.15. The stock has a market cap of $12.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.12, a PEG ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.49, a current ratio of 1.62 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.29.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 13th. The company reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.75 by $0.14. Advance Auto Parts had a return on equity of 13.99% and a net margin of 5.83%. The business had revenue of $2.28 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.23 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.43 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Advance Auto Parts will post 7.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Advance Auto Parts announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, August 14th that authorizes the company to buyback $600.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 5.5% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 4th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.06 per share. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.14%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, December 20th. Advance Auto Parts’s dividend payout ratio is 4.47%.

In related news, Director Fiona P. Dias sold 1,048 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $177.54, for a total value of $186,061.92. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 11,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,075,975.22. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 4.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Advisor Partners LLC lifted its stake in Advance Auto Parts by 14.4% in the 3rd quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 2,443 shares of the company’s stock worth $411,000 after acquiring an additional 307 shares in the last quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Advance Auto Parts by 16.5% in the 3rd quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 2,208 shares of the company’s stock worth $371,000 after acquiring an additional 312 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in Advance Auto Parts by 1.7% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 20,914 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,838,000 after acquiring an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. lifted its stake in Advance Auto Parts by 15.2% in the 3rd quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 2,867 shares of the company’s stock worth $483,000 after acquiring an additional 379 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BB&T Corp lifted its stake in Advance Auto Parts by 16.7% in the 3rd quarter. BB&T Corp now owns 2,713 shares of the company’s stock worth $457,000 after acquiring an additional 389 shares in the last quarter. 97.88% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Advance Auto Parts Company Profile

Advance Auto Parts, Inc provides automotive replacement parts, batteries, accessories, and maintenance items for domestic and imported cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, and light and heavy duty trucks. It offers battery accessories, belts and hoses, brakes and brake pads, chassis and climate control parts, clutches and drive shafts, engines and engine parts, exhaust systems and parts, hub assemblies, ignition components and wires, radiators and cooling parts, starters and alternators, and steering and alignment parts.

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