AutoZone Shares Accelerate Following Earnings and Sales Beat

The Memphis car-parts retailer topped analysts' earnings, sales and comparable-store sales expectations for the fiscal first quarter.
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AutoZone (AZO) - Get Report shares jumped more than 6% Tuesday after the Memphis auto-parts retailer reported fiscal-first-quarter results -- revenue, earnings and same-store-sales growth -- that were ahead of expectations.

For the quarter ended Nov. 23 the company reported earnings of $14.30 a share against $13.47 in the year-earlier quarter. Shares outstanding dropped 6.1% to 24.5 million. Analysts polled by FactSet were looking for $13.70 a share. 

Sales of $2.79 billion rose 5.7% from a year earlier and beat the estimate of $2.77 billion.

Same-store sales rose 3.4% year over year in the quarter, topping estimates of a 2.5% increase. The latest number also bettered the 2.7% growth it reported in the year-earlier quarter.

“Our business strengthened during the quarter with accelerated growth in both retail and commercial,” AutoZone President and CEO Bill Rhodes said in a statement. 

“As our industry’s fundamentals remain healthy, we are optimistic about what we can accomplish this new year, with our ongoing initiatives in place to improve inventory availability.”

AutoZone plans to drive do-it-yourself sales and will continue to grow its commercial business “substantially faster than industry growth.”

The company opened 18 new stores in the quarter, bringing its global total to 6,433, including 5,790 in the U.S., 606 in Mexico and 37 in Brazil. 

Following the release, AutoZone was the subject of a Nomura note, in which analyst Michael Baker reiterated a buy rating on the stock and a $1,250 price target.

At last check AutoZone shares were up 7.2% to $1,253 a share.