Zacks Investment Research Upgrades AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) to “Hold”
AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “AutoZone expects higher sales growth in fiscal 2017 compared to fiscal 2016. Also, the company’s strong cash flows help to aggressively repurchase shares. It has enough liquidity to repurchase shares without compromising on financial strength and therefore, the credit ratings. Moreover, the company uses its significant cash flow to open new stores every year. However, year to date, AutoZone has underperformed the industry it belongs to. The company expects its capital and operating expenses to rise over the next three years due to its plans to open 2–3 new distribution centers over this time frame. Currency headwinds also pose a challenge.”
Several other research firms have also commented on AZO. Royal Bank Of Canada dropped their price objective on shares of AutoZone from $829.00 to $753.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, May 22nd. Raymond James Financial, Inc. lowered shares of AutoZone from a “strong-buy” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $900.00 price objective on shares of AutoZone and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Citigroup Inc. lowered shares of AutoZone from a “strong-buy” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of AutoZone from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. AutoZone has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $774.36.
AutoZone (NYSE AZO) traded down 0.89% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $520.70. 162,422 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $517.97 and its 200 day moving average price is $635.31. The company has a market capitalization of $14.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.03 and a beta of 0.61. AutoZone has a 52 week low of $491.13 and a 52 week high of $813.70.
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In other AutoZone news, VP William T. Giles sold 10,000 shares of AutoZone stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $581.10, for a total value of $5,811,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 18,500 shares in the company, valued at $10,750,350. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William Andrew Mckenna bought 300 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 13th. The stock was bought at an average price of $507.00 per share, for a total transaction of $152,100.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 5,131 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,601,417. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.
A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. American Beacon Advisors Inc. bought a new position in AutoZone during the first quarter valued at about $104,000. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC bought a new position in AutoZone during the second quarter valued at about $114,000. Alpha Windward LLC raised its position in AutoZone by 3.2% in the second quarter. Alpha Windward LLC now owns 259 shares of the company’s stock valued at $148,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. raised its position in AutoZone by 3.5% in the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 264 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 9 shares during the period. Finally, Global X Management Co. LLC raised its position in AutoZone by 12.9% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 323 shares of the company’s stock valued at $184,000 after buying an additional 37 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 96.06% of the company’s stock.
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.
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