NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) - Get AutoZone, Inc. Report had coverage initiated by Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Morgan Stanley (MS) Report with an "equalweight" rating and a price target of $575.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates AUTOZONE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate AUTOZONE INC (AZO) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, solid stock price performance and impressive record of earnings per share growth. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- AZO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- The gross profit margin for AUTOZONE INC is rather high; currently it is at 54.46%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 12.17% is above that of the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $463.15 million or 20.29% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -3.54%.
- Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 25.48% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AZO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- AUTOZONE INC has improved earnings per share by 16.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AUTOZONE INC increased its bottom line by earning $27.88 versus $23.57 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($31.56 versus $27.88).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: AZO Ratings Report