AutoZone Inc (AZO): Today's Featured Retail Winner

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

AutoZone ( AZO) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, AutoZone rose $4.50 (1.2%) to $381.29 on average volume. Throughout the day, 604,772 shares of AutoZone exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 520,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $377.16-$382.10 after having opened the day at $378.67 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $376.79. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: China Nepstar Chain Drugstore ( NPD), up 8.4%, Bidz.com ( BIDZ), up 5.7%, PC Connection ( PCCC), up 5.3%, and Pier one Imports ( PIR), up 4.4%.
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AutoZone, Inc. engages in retailing and distributing automotive replacement parts and accessories. AutoZone has a market cap of $13.93 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.8, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate AutoZone a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AutoZone as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

On the negative front, Cache ( CACH), down 15.7%, Liquidity Service ( LQDT), down 9.6%, Alon Holdings Blue Square - Israel ( BSI), down 4%, and dELiA*s ( DLIA), down 3.8%, were all laggards within the retail industry with Safeway ( SWY) being today's retail industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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