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

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 lower today making it today's featured Retail laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.6%. By the end of trading, AutoZone fell $4.63 (-1.1%) to $397.20 on light volume. Throughout the day, 245,072 shares of AutoZone exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 444,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $394.59-$399.46 after having opened the day at $397.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $401.83. Other companies within the Retail industry that declined today were: Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN), down 4.8%, U.S. Auto Parts Network ( PRTS), down 4.4%, Christopher & Banks Corporation ( CBK), down 4.2%, and PC Connection ( PCCC), down 3.8%.
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AutoZone, Inc. engages in retailing and distributing automotive replacement parts and accessories. AutoZone has a market cap of $14.22 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.9, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 13.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate AutoZone a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and seven rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates AutoZone as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the positive front, Destination XL Group ( DXLG), up 38.1%, Casual Male Retail Group ( CMRG), up 38.1%, RadioShack ( RSH), up 7.7%, and bebe stores ( BEBE), up 6.2%, were all gainers within the retail industry with Companhia Brasileira De Distribuicao ( CBD) being today's featured retail industry leader.

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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