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AutoZone Beats Third-Quarter Sales and Earnings Expectations

AutoZone said third-quarter sales jumped 31.4% to $3.65 billion, while net income increased 73.8% to $596.2 million.

AutoZone  (AZO) - Get AutoZone, Inc. Report beat Wall Street's fiscal third-quarter expectations Tuesday as the auto-parts retailer reported a jump in net sales.

Shares of the Memphis, Tenn. company were up slightly to $1,450 in premarket trading.

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AutoZone reported net income of $596.2 million, or $26.48 a share, up 73.8% from $342.9 million, or $14.39 a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting earnings of $20.13 a share. 

The company said the increase in net income was driven "by strong topline growth and operating expense leverage."

Net sales grew 31.4% to $3.65 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $3.27 billion

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Domestic same-store sales increased 28.9% for the quarter.

AutoZone repurchased 663,328 shares of its common stock for $900 million during the quarter, at an average price of $1,357 a share. At the end of the quarter, the company had $1.3 billion remaining under its current share repurchase authorization.

During the quarter, AutoZone said it opened 25 new stores and closed one store in the U.S., and opened seven stores in Mexico and one store in Brazil

“We are very proud to report another quarter of exceptionally strong same store sales and earnings growth," Bill Rhodes, chairman, President and CEO, said in a statement. "While our DIY business was again very strong this quarter, our Commercial business’ 44% sales growth stood out as exceptional."

Rhodes added that "while we understand sales trends will slow, we must work diligently during this fourth quarter to maintain the share gains we have achieved."

TheStreet.com founder Jim Cramer is bullish on AutoZone. In December, the company beat first-quarter expectations. The company also posted a fourth-quarter earnings beat in September.